The Huskies returned to action Monday night with heavy hearts, facing Maryland Eastern Shore three days after the tragedy in Newtown. Freshman Omar Calhoun, who scored a season high 22 points in UConn's 84-50 victory, summed up the evening nicely.
"We just wanted to make sure we came out here and put on a good show for the crowd and stick together as a team, and play for everybody that was in that tragedy," he said.
A pregame ceremony was held in honor of the 26 victims from Sandy Hook Elementary School, and the team donned green "SH" patches. Sophomore guard Ryan had "SH" on his cheek, junior guard Shabazz Napier wrote "26" on one sock and "SH" on the other, and Maryland Eastern Shore guard Louis Bell had "S.H.E.S." and "12-14-12" on each shoe.
"It was heartbreaking just to know what happened to those kids," Boatright said. "I've got two baby sisters that I've just seen that are the exact same age as the kids at the elementary school. It was a humbling experience and all my prayers go out to all the families."
The team attended a vigil Sunday night and coach Kevin Ollie says the players will visit Newtown.
"We're going to go down there and have a good practice or whatever they want us to do," Ollie said. "We're going to be available for them and hopefully bring a smile or two to their faces."
As for the game, UConn moves to 8-2 on the season while Maryland Eastern Shore drops to 0-10.The Huskies led 39-27 at the break before going on a 45-23 run in the final 20 minutes. In addition to Calhoun's 22-point night, Boatright scored 21, DeAndre Daniels, 13 and Shabazz Napier 11.
The Huskies play again this Friday when they host Fordham at the XL Center.