HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun stressed
defense. He got that, and plenty of offense as well.
Top-ranked UConn combined a dazzling fast break and a strong
game from its big three of Ben Gordon, Emeka Okafor and Denham Brown on Saturday in a 111-64 rout of Sacred Heart.Gordon scored 27 points, Okafor had 23 and Brown 20 for
Connecticut (3-0), which shot 71 percent in the first half in
bolting to a 60-28 lead. It was the Huskies' largest margin of
victory since a 50-point win over UNC Asheville last December."We obviously have more talent and we're bigger and stronger,"
said Calhoun, who notched his 650th coaching win. "But I think
they also got caught up playing our game. Any time we can play the
game fullcourt, we're as good as anybody in the country."Rashad Anderson added 18 points for the Huskies and freshman
Marcus Williams had 13 assists, one short of the school record.Sacred Heart, playing its season opener, was led by guards Omar Wellington and Maurice Bailey with 15 points each.Gordon, coming off a career-high 37 points three days ago
against Nevada, made 10 of 13 shots, including all four of his
3-pointers. Brown hit seven of nine, including four of five
3-pointers. Okafor had 10 rebounds for his third double-double this
season."We needed to put together a full 40 minutes on defense and
offense as well," Gordon said. "That's something we haven't done
the two games before this. I thought we did a pretty good job
tonight."UConn broke to a 25-11 lead and put the game away with an 11-0
run midway through the first half. UConn hit its first four shots
in the second half, ran the score to 68-28, and the rest of the
game was just a matter of how many points the Huskies would score.
UConn shot 60 percent for the game.Calhoun has been coaching 32 years -- 14 at Northeastern and 18
at Connecticut. He joined just 22 others in Division I history with
650 victories. He has 402 of those wins at Connecticut."I think what it means is I'm getting old," said Calhoun, 61.
"I've always felt that you don't just push these milestones aside
because it means that I've been at two great schools and had a lot
of good players. It's a tribute to them."UConn is headed for Madison Square Garden on Wednesday to face
Georgia Tech in the Preseason NIT semifinals. Texas Tech and Utah
will meet in the other semifinal in New York.