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Walker helps UConn snap Hoyas’ win streak
HARTFORD, Conn. | Kemba Walker had the ball at about the free throw line and he was being covered after a switch by a player 9 inches taller than him.
He had quite a list of possible plays in front of him. He could have faked and faded for a jumper. He could have put his head down and drove and then either tried to score or pass.
What he finally did isn’t on the list of options for almost every basketball player in the world.
Walker did fake to his left, then threw the ball hard off the backboard and since he was the only player who had any inkling of the play, he grabbed the ball and flipped it in from about 4 feet, just one of his many highlight-reel plays in No. 13 Connecticut’s 78-70 victory over No. 9 Georgetown on Wednesday night.
“I just seen the lane open and at the time it was the only play available so I went for it,” said Walker, who had 31 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. “I did it a lot in pickup over the summer but I never did it in a game. I don’t know what Coach would have done if I missed it.”
Since he did make the shot, we know that Huskies coach Jim Calhoun laughed about it after the game.
“I haven’t seen the bank play in quite some time, as in never,” Calhoun said. “A kid from West Virginia tried it against us one time and it was unsuccessful. That one was him. Obviously he was wonderful.”
And what did his teammates think?
“He’s done it in pickup but never in a game,” forward Alex Oriakhi said. “I thought ‘What are you doing?’ Then he put it in and we all went crazy.”
The win ended Georgetown’s eight-game winning streak and was a huge boost for Connecticut, which had lost three of five, including two at home.
Jamal Coombs-McDaniel had 23 points in his second straight big game for the Huskies (20-5, 8-5 Big East).
Coombs-McDaniel is on a two-game run nobody could have expected. On Sunday, he had 25 points in a win over Providence, 14 above his career high entering the game. Even with that he came in averaging 5.4 points, and had his 23 this time on 8-for-11 shooting and grabbed six rebounds.
The sophomore forward said he “feels real confident.”
“My teammates have confidence in me and I’ve just been knocking down shots,” he said.
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