UConn nips Northeastern in N.I.T.; NCAA preview

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UConn nips Northeastern in N.I.T.; NCAA preview

Associated PressSTORRS, Conn. -- Jerome Dysonscored 13 of his 18 points in the second half and Connecticut hung onto beat Northeastern 59-57 Tuesday in the first round of the NationalInvitation Tournament.
Box score
Dyson, who scored a total of 18points in his previous three games, had 11 of UConn's final 13 pointsto bring his team back from a six-point deficit. His free throws with53 seconds left provided the winning margin, and snapped a four-gamelosing streak."I didn't want it to go down and end like that," Dyson said. "I just tried to be more aggressive."UConn's Kemba Walker had a chance to ice the game, but missed the front end of two 1-and-1s in the final minute.Baptiste Bataille's 3-point attempt, which would have won the game for Northeastern at the buzzer, fell short."We did a good job following our gameplan and we still had a shot in the last seconds," Bataille said. "Itwas a little unfortunate but we're happy with the effort."Matt Janning scored 17 points forNortheastern (20-13), which finished second in the Colonial AthleticAssociation. Manny Adako added 14 points.Connecticut (18-15), a perennialpower in the Big East having a down season, advances to play the winnerof Wednesday night's game between Quinnipiac and top-seeded VirginiaTech.Trailing 55-50 with just under fiveminutes left, UConn went to a press and denied Janning the ball.Northeastern missed four of its final five shots.Dyson hit a jumper and a 3-pointerto bring the Huskies within two points, then found Stanley Robinsonunderneath for a reverse layup that tied the game 57 with 1:41 left.Robinson finished with 14 points."If it weren't for Jerome it couldhave been a whole other story," UConn forward Gavin Edwards said. "It'sdefinitely nice to be on the receiving ends of one of those wins."Northeastern trailed by eight pointsat halftime, but a 15-4 run turned a 39-32 deficit into a 47-43 leadmidway through the second half. They led 54-48 with 6 minutes left.Northeastern jumped to a 10-2 lead on one of Janning's four 3-pointers.But Connecticut took over fromthere, outscoring Northeastern 32-16 the rest of the half. UConndominated in the paint, scoring 20-first half points down low andoutrebounding Northeastern 23-14.It was 34-26 at the half.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.