Busting Brackets

Adama Sanogo leads UConn over Auburn in Double OT of Battle 4 Atlantis

Nov 24, 2021; Nassau, BHS; Connecticut Huskies forward Adama Sanogo (21) looks to score as Auburn Tigers forward Jabari Smith (10) defends during the game in the 2021 Battle 4 Atlantis at Imperial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 24, 2021; Nassau, BHS; Connecticut Huskies forward Adama Sanogo (21) looks to score as Auburn Tigers forward Jabari Smith (10) defends during the game in the 2021 Battle 4 Atlantis at Imperial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

Adama Sanogo was a star in today’s big win for the UConn Huskies, outlasting Auburn in a high-scoring affair in double-overtime.

Dan Hurley and UConn let it be known before the season began. Their strategy on offense is simple. Give Adama Sanogo the ball inside. Tyrese Martin has echoed this sentiment. When in doubt, give Adama the ball. Right on cue, UConn opened things up by feeding the big man. Adama Sanogo hit his first 3-3 shots over the 7’1” Walker Kessler (14 points, 10 rebounds). Sanogo would go on to finish the game with 30 points (he also had 8 turnovers though).

Despite the hot start for Sanogo, who scored UConn’s first 10 points, the Huskies were careless with the ball, with five early turnovers. The Huskies needed someone else to get going against Auburn’s smothering defense.

Meanwhile, Auburn was beginning to heat up on offense. Their defense was giving them confidence and you could sense it. After a missed Sanogo 3-point attempt, Wendell Green Jr (19 points) came down the court and hit a deep 3 early in the shot clock forcing the Huskies to take a timeout as they trailed 21-10. Who would the Huskies turn to out of the timeout for some offense?

The 5th year senior and reigning Big East Sixth Man of the Year, Tyler Polley. Polley came out and hit a three in rhythm, just what the team needed. The always steady RJ Cole (24 points, 6 assists, 5 turnovers) followed up with a three of his own the next possession. Just like that, another Polley three. Tie game, an 11-0 run after the timeout. The momentum had shifted.

Sanogo continued to abuse the Tigers inside, while shooters started stepping into threes with confidence. Jordan Hawkins (16 points) joined the scoring party and hit a couple threes. Once down 21-10, the score was now 34-28 in favor of the Huskies at the under 4 TV timeout, a 24-7 run since Dan Hurley took a timeout.

The Huskies led 45-34 at the half. However, the Tigers have been a second-half team during this young season.

Auburn wouldn’t go away. They cut the lead to eight after Kessler wiped out a would-be Sanogo layup and the Tigers hit a corner three in transition. It looked like a potential momentum-shifting play, but the Huskies held their ground, leading by as many as 15 with only 11 minutes to go.

Auburn turned up their defensive pressure and Jabari Smith (22 points, 6 rebounds) and KD Johnson (27 points, 5 steals) got things going offensively. Their full-court pressure continued to disrupt the flow of the Huskies’ offense. The momentum appeared to be shifting in Auburn’s favor as the Huskies tightened up down the stretch. Auburn continued to inch closer as UConn’s turnovers mounted (the team finished with 24 turnovers).

Who would step up to help their team win? Tyrese Martin (13 points, 8 rebounds) kept UConn close towards the end of regulation, scoring in the post. Cole drew a foul driving to the hoop, hitting 1 of 2. Isaiah Whaley, who else, grabbed the offensive rebound setting up a 3 for Polley to take the lead. KD Johnson would have none of it though, hitting an acrobatic layup in traffic to tie things up.


Auburn started things off with a quick three, but the unflappable UConn senior, Tyler Polley, had the answer. Chants of “Let’s Go Huskies” began to ring out, the crowd trying to propel their team to a hard-fought victory. Both teams tightened up a bit in overtime, struggling to score and close things out.

Auburn set up their press after KD Johnson hit 2 clutch free throws to cut the lead to 95-93 with 16 seconds to go in overtime. The Huskies broke the pressure and it looked like the game was over before Jordan Hawkins coughed the ball up and KD Johnson tied the game with 3.4 seconds to go. 95-95.

Double overtime.

For two defensive-minded teams, there certainly was a lot of scoring. Polley (24 points, 6-9 from deep) came up huge all game, including in double overtime. He and KD Johnson traded threes as both teams hit the century mark. Another 3 for Polley gave UConn the lead for good as the Huskies went on to score the next nine points. UConn led 109-100, but the Tigers had no quit in them and continued to fight back. UConn certainly helped by fouling unnecessarily and turning the ball over. This game was certainly a rollercoaster ride, but Huskies managed to escape with the win.

dark. Next. 2021 Battle 4 Atlantis preview

Next up for the Huskies, Michigan State. Auburn takes on Loyola-Chicago.