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No. 24 UCONN Rides Sanogo to Victory Over Pirates

Led by Adama Sanogo's 20-point, 16-rebound performance, the No. 24 UCONN Huskies dropped Seton Hall on Wednesday in a 70-65 win. The Pirates had no response for Sanogo despite Jared Rhoden's 14 points and Kadary Richmond's 13.

Sixth-year senior Bryce Aiken missed his eighth consecutive game after suffering a concussion against Marquette on Jan. 15. Leaving the point guard out of the lineup is a huge loss for the Pirates, as the Randolph, NJ native has averaged 14.5 points per game this season in 15 games played.

The Pirates' weakness on Wednesday, however, had little to do with Aiken. Huskies' head coach Dan Hurley used his most dangerous weapon continuously, as the Pirates had no answers for Sanogo. Thanks to center Ike Obiagu acquiring three fouls fairly early, Pirates' coach Kevin Willard had to throw junior Tyrese Samuel at Sanogo, a bench piece that the Malian big man bullied down low.

The game was virtually neck-and-neck for all 40 minutes considering UCONN's biggest lead was just 10, but the Pirate struggles inside proved costly. UCONN outrebounded The Hall 41-31 and outscored them 40-24 in the paint.

It's not as though the Pirates struggled to score, as they shot 43% from the floor and 39% from behind the arc, but the Huskies' exploitation of Seton Hall's 2-3 zone scheme on defense allowed numerous open looks in the paint.

If the Huskies wanted a clean look behind the arc, they would send the ball inside to Sanogo and wait for the double-team that left a man open from deep.

On the brighter side, Richmond secured his eighth game of double-digit points in his last 11. Since having the starting point guard spot thrust upon him with Aiken's absence, he has exponentially improved his game.

It seems more and more likely that Richmond will have this role for the remainder of the season, seeing that Willard, in a postgame interview with Gary Cohen and Dave Popkin, implied that Aiken will not return for the rest of the season. Willard said, "I haven't seen any improvement..." and that Aiken has yet to return to practice since the injury.

Seton Hall will trudge on without their most experienced player and their starting point guard when they try to bounce back on Saturday against DePaul at Prudential Center.

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