In Moore’s Return Home, Huskies Dominate Bobcats

In Moore’s Return Home, Huskies Dominate Bobcats

By Peter D’Alauro

HARTFORD—Home sweet home was a bitter pill to swallow for Quinnipiac Men’s basketball coach Tom Moore. In what was the first match-up of his young head coaching career against his former school and mentor, Jim Calhoun, Moore’s Bobcats were physically dominated by Calhoun’s huskies, as they rolled to an 82-49 victory. Jerome Dyson led Connecticut with 23 points, but it was the physical presence of junior forward Jeff Adrien and center Hasheem Thabeet that kept the Bobcats in check for most of the night. Adrien contributed 12 points and 14 rebounds in the victory. While Thabeet only contributed 7 points on 3-3 shooting, he added four blocks in the contest and gave Quinnipiac fits anytime they entered the paint. “Today was real fun. We’ve been having a lot of fun in practice the last few days and we carried it onto the court,” said Adrien.

It certainly wasn’t fun for Quinnipiac during most of the contest. The most competitive moment of the game for the Bobcats came when sophomore guard Casey Cosgrove nailed a three point field goal with 13:30 remaining in the first half to tie the game at 10-10. He was the lone spark for the Bobcats as he added 15 points, all on three point field goals. However, it seemed as if that tie motivated Connecticut to start having fun out on the court, surely reminding Tom Moore of the college basketball powerhouse he left. UConn jumped off from that point, concluding the first half on a 36-14 run as they led Quinnipiac at the break, 46-24.

“We hadn’t really seen anything like this from any of our opponents in terms of size and athleticism, especially at the rim. That was a little bit hard for our kids to handle,” said a disappointed Moore. The second half was much of the same, as the Bobcats had no answer for the tough UConn big men and their athletic guards, led by junior guard A.J. Price. Price provided floor leadership for the Huskies, adding 6 points and 9 assists in the contest. This was the kind of leadership Jim Calhoun had been looking for from Price since he arrived at UConn. “You could hear A.J. really running the team. I like that. And during huddles he did a good job,” said a pleased Calhoun. Quinnipiac’s leading scorer this season, DeMario Anderson had a tough game, adding only 10 points on 5-16 shooting.

UConn’s lead ballooned to as much as 36 in the second half as it seemed they were at many points toying with the over-matched Bobcats. Although, you certainly couldn’t fault the effort by Quinnipiac. Many Bobcats were diving on the floor for loose balls, even when the outcome had all but been decided.

Perhaps the highlight of the day for Quinnipiac came just before tip-off as Tom Moore received a rousing standing ovation from the 3,500 plus brave fans at the Civic Center who withstood a nor’easter, a token of their appreciation for his 13 years of dedicated service to UConn, where he helped them win two national championships. Jim Calhoun echoed those sentiments after the game, “I miss him as a recruiter, but more as a friend,” added the hall of fame coach.

Despite the kind words, Moore knows better than anyone that it’s a long tough road ahead for his Bobcats to even approach the level of success he achieved at UConn. The Bobcats will look to improve themselves in their next two games, one at home against Dartmouth and then a trip up north to face Vermont. “We have a huge game against Dartmouth on Wednesday,” Moore said. “We have another huge game against Vermont on Saturday, so we’d like to put this behind us and move on.”

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