For the first time, First Night included a co-ed scrimmage between Team Geno and Team Ollie. As you might expect, the teams were comprised of players from the squads of Geno Auriemma and Kevin Ollie. And in the inaugural matchup … Team Geno prevailed, 51-49.
(You can see the rosters here)
Here's the recap, courtesy of UConnHuskies.com:
Team Geno, whose team prevailed in the battle of wits, showed up on the court tonight as well. Geno’s squad threw down 51 points against Coach Ollie’s team to seal the win. Leading the Team Geno charge was Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) with 11 total points. Napier could hardly miss from three-point range, sinking nine of his baskets from behind the line. Omar Calhoun (Brooklyn, N.Y.) also chipped in for the white team with an additional 10 points. Breanna Stewart (Syracuse, N.Y.) highlighted the women’s effort on Team Geno, contributing 5 points and 3 rebounds.
Coach Ollie’s team fought hard to close the gap in the remaining minutes of play, even sinking a questionable three-pointer just before a Team Geno timeout to take the lead. Despite Geno’s good-natured protestations, the officials decided to allow the points. Rodney Purvis (Raleigh, N.C.) equaled Napier with eleven points of his own while Kentan Facey (Trelawny, Jamaica) finished second on the Team Kevin scoring charts with 10 points. Tyler Olander (Mansfield, Conn.) lead both squads in selfless play, dishing out three assists for Team Kevin.
Afterwards, Auriemma talked about facing off with Ollie.
“Well, I think a lot has changed in the world of sports," he said. "In college sports it’s not different. You can’t sit back and keep doing the same thing over and over again. I think you need to figure out ways to do things differently and create new events. This is just another event that the marketing people came up with that we thought was a great idea. The kids are very excited about this, I’ll tell you that.”
The excitement grows because now the games count.