Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Kemba Walker begins season for UConn in stellar fashion

By Eric Mansfield

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Connecticut men’s basketball guard Kemba Walker earned Most Valuable Player honors in the EA Sports Maui Invitational, hosted by Chaminade this past week. The junior from the Bronx led the Huskies to a tournament victory with wins over Wichita State, Michigan State and Kentucky.

In the three tournament games, Walker averaged 30 points and four assists per game. Overall, Walker is averaging 30 points and 3.6 assists per game on the season.

In the tournament opener against Wichita State, Walker scored 31 points in only 23 minutes of action. He finished eight of 16 from the field and one of four from beyond the 3-point line. Walker was also 14-for-15 from the free throw line, helping UConn to an 83-79 victory.

In the second game of the tournament against then-No. 2 Michigan State, Walker was on the court for all but two minutes of action, netting 30 points while shooting 10-for-19 from the field and 4-for-11 from beyond the arc. Walker added three rebounds, four assists and three steals. MSU junior forward Draymond Green would lead the Spartans with 22 points and 12 rebounds in a game that went down to the wire, but ended in a 70-67 win for the Huskies.

The tournament championship game against then-No. 9 ranked Kentucky turned into a rout, as Walker led to the Huskies with 29 points and six assists in an 84-67 win.

Last season, Walker averaged 14.6 points per game and never scored 30 points in a game. So far this season, Walker has already reached that feat on three occasions. In the Huskies’ second game against Vermont, Walker scored 42 points on 15-for-24 shooting from the field.

UR shocks Purdue

Unranked Richmond defeated then-No. 8 Purdue in the Chicago Invitational Challenge championship game this past Saturday night. Senior guard Kevin Anderson led the Spiders with 28 points with senior Justin Harper adding 14.

The last time the Spiders upset a top 10 team was in 2004 when they beat Kansas, 69-68.

The Boilermakers hadn’t lost to a non-Big 10 Conference team in nearly two years when then-No. 4 Duke defeated Purdue, 76-60, in 2008.

The Spiders held the Boilermakers to 30 percent shooting from the field and 14 points in the first half.

Richmond will have a couple of days off before playing at Old Dominion this Wednesday.

Florida holds on against FSU

No. 16 Florida sustained a late rally by Florida State to hold on for the 55-51 victory.

With under a minute left in the game, Seminole sophomore Michael Snaer hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 53-51. Florida sophomore Erik Murphy put the Gators back up by four with a put-back with 16 seconds remaining in regulation.

Florida State was held to 33.3 percent shooting in the game and its leading scorer, junior forward Chris Singleton, was held to 2-for-12 shooting. He finished with eight points.

The game against Florida was the Seminoles first true test of the season, after beating their previous opponents by an average of 22 points per game.

Florida’s Kenny Boynton led the team with 14 points on 4-for-11 shooting. Murphy led the team with six rebounds, while Snaer led the Seminoles with 15 points, netting 5-for-6 from 3-point land.

Eric Mansfield can be reached at [email protected]

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