Less than 36 hours after #DunkCity turned Hartford's national television appearance into a nightmare, the Hawks returned to the court, this time to face Fairfield out of the MAAC. Fighting fatigue, the Hawks took out the Stags, 63-53 to earn their first win of the season.
Mark Nwakamma logged his second double-double of the young season to help lead Hartford to the win, scoring 17 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, 10 of which came on the defensive end and stopped Fairfield from nabbing second chances.
But it was the center off the bench who made the biggest impact for the Hawks. Yasin Kolo -- all 6-10 of him -- logged a career high 20 points, including hitting 3 of his 4 3-point attempts.
Given the intensity, you would have never guessed that Hartford had played one of the toughest games on their nonconference schedule just the day before.
"We had two choices — complain about playing back to back or muster up as much energy as we could and play," Nwakamma said. "We did a great job of being tough-minded, mentally. That was the biggest thing. Physically, we were drained but, mentally, we hung on there and got the win."
But the real story was the emergence of Kolo who might have earned himself some more minutes with his breakout performance.
"Yasin took a huge step," head coach John Gallagher said. "I probably should have played him more. Yasin and Mark complement each other so well. They both can score inside. They both can shoot from three. The most impressive thing -- forget the scoring -- was his defense. He changed more shots than we've had [someone do] in a long time."