Buffalo 68

(0-1, 0-1 away)

(8) Connecticut 90

(1-0, 1-0 home)

    7:00 PM ET, November 20, 2004

    XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut

    1 2 T
    BUFF 24 4468
    #8CONN 47 4390

    Top Performers

    Buffalo: T. Battle 14 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 4 Stl

    Connecticut: J. Boone 18 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 4 Blk

    Anderson's 23 points lead Huskies' charge

    STORRS, Conn. (AP) -- Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon are gone, but Connecticut's latest inside-outside combination showed it can be just as potent.

    Rashad Anderson scored 23 points, hitting 4 of 9 from 3-point range, and Josh Boone got all his 18 points from the paint in the Huskies' 90-68 win over Buffalo on Saturday night.

    It was the season opener for both teams as the Huskies (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today; No. 8 AP) began defense of their NCAA title, overpowering Buffalo early with strong post play and a crisp transition game.

    "We just came out and played hard. We played Connecticut basketball," Anderson said.

    The Huskies wasted little time putting this one away. Boone and Anderson combined for 11 points in UConn's opening 13-2 run. The Bulls got their first basket in the first minute then went scoreless over the next five.

    "We really jumped into them, took away their dribble screens and offense that they run so well," UConn coach Jim Calhoun said. "Obviously, we did a wonderful job of that in the first half."

    Buffalo, a preseason favorite in the Mid-American Conference, didn't make consecutive baskets until there were five minutes left in the first half. The Huskies led by as many as 24 and took a 47-24 lead at halftime, holding the Bulls to 25.8 percent shooting.

    UConn outrebounded Buffalo 56-27, led by Boone's 11 boards. He and Charlie Villanueva each blocked four shots. The Huskies' frontcourt combined for 38 points and 30 rebounds.

    Turner Battle led the Bulls with 14 points and Roderick Middleton chipped in with 13.

    Buffalo coach Reggie Witherspoon discovered quickly his concerns about the defending champs were well-founded.

    "We came in concerned about their ability to run the floor and their ability to rebound the basketball," Witherspoon said. "We didn't get surprised. We didn't respond well enough to get it done."

    Boone emerged as the ultimate cleanup guy around the rim. Most of his 18 points, a career high, came off putbacks and offensive rebounds.

    "I just try to never stop playing," Boone said. "Even though I missed the shot, I knew the rebound was going to be there."

    The 6-foot-10 sophomore also dazzled in transition.

    Trailing on a long outlet pass from Marcus Williams to Rudy Gay, Boone fielded Gay's over-the-back pass in full stride and punctuated the play with a rim-rattling dunk midway through the first half that brought the crowd to its feet.

    "It was a good heads up pass by Marcus to get the ball ahead and then Rudy caught it and made a great play to save it and I just happened to be there to finish," said Boone, who turns 20 on Sunday.

    UConn played sloppier in the second half and finished with 23 turnovers as Buffalo picked up its defensive pressure.

    "They pressured us and some of our guys gave in to pressure," Calhoun said. "Feeding the post became and adventure, running the fastbreak became an adventure.

    Calhoun said he expects to work out some of that when the team leaves Sunday for a four-game exhibition tour through the United Kingdom.

    "Hopefully we'll get some of that squared away," he said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 68 90
    FG Made-Attempted 24-67 (.358) 30-63 (.476)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-20 (.250) 9-19 (.474)
    FT Made-Attempted 15-22 (.682) 21-26 (.808)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 20 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 28

    2004-05 Season

    » Nov 20, 2004 @CONN 90, BUFF 68Recap