Connecticut 75

(1-0, 1-0 away)

Pepperdine 56

(0-1, 0-1 home)

    11:30 PM ET, November 18, 2005

    Firestone Fieldhouse, Malibu, California

    1 2 T
    CONN 34 4175
    PEPP 24 3256

    Top Performers

    Connecticut: J. Boone 18 Pts, 12 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk

    Pepperdine: M. Gerrity 19 Pts, 3 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

    Boone leads UConn over pesky Pepperdine 

    MALIBU, Calif. (AP) -- Ragged play in a tiny, overheated, crowded gym crammed to the rafters with screaming fans nearly proved Connecticut's undoing.

    Eventually, the Huskies (No. 2 ESPN/USA Today; No. 3 AP) steadied themselves and pulled away in the second half of a 75-56 victory over pesky Pepperdine on Friday night.

    Josh Boone scored 18 points for the Huskies, who improved to 16-4 in season openers under coach Jim Calhoun, now in his 20th season. They stopped in Malibu on their way to the Maui Invitational beginning Monday.

    "They gave us fits," Calhoun said. "After the first 10 minutes, I thought we'd settle down, but we didn't. We took off at the end because we know how to win."

    Point guard Michael Gerrity led Pepperdine with 19 points in his college debut. The 6-footer fearlessly drove the lane against UConn's big frontline, and engineered a 9-0 run that got the Waves within five midway through the second half.

    "The kid was smart and crafty," Calhoun said. "He's a good little point guard."

    The Waves (0-1) had dreams of pulling an upset in front of 3,210 orange-painted students and retired Indiana Pacers star Reggie Miller and Memphis Grizzlies president Jerry West.

    "I thought we had it in us," Gerrity said. "If we hit a couple more 3s, got a couple of bounces, who knows? Nobody expected us to challenge those guys, but we've been together and growing all summer and it showed."

    After trailing by 13 early in the second half, Pepperdine got within five twice as UConn committed a slew of its 19 turnovers.

    "It was a lot of kids' first game on the road," Boone said. "We had to buckle down and realize the season is starting now. We just had to clam down and get ourselves in the flow of the game."

    The Waves scored nine straight to close to 46-41, getting five by Derick Grubb and four by Gerrity. Gerrity stripped fellow freshman Craig Austrie and scored on a fast-break layin that sent the students into a frenzy.

    Gerrity's basket again cut the Waves' deficit to five with 11:48 remaining.

    But the Huskies pulled away on a game-ending 27-13 run dominated by Boone, Denham Brown and Rudy Gay. Brown finished with 16 points and Gay 15. The Huskies controlled the boards, 49-40, with Boone grabbing 12 rebounds and Gay 10.

    "They're better than we are," Pepperdine coach Paul Westphal said. "We could have hung around a little longer, but we weren't going to beat them unless the roof fell in."

    The Waves shot 27 percent in the first half, when they went scoreless for a five-minute stretch in which the Huskies ran off 11 straight points to go up 28-16.

    Before that, the game was tied four times and the Waves led by four points as UConn struggled with its shooting, leading by 10 at the break.

    UConn leads the series 3-0.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 75 56
    FG Made-Attempted 25-57 (.439) 23-73 (.315)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-9 (.556) 1-10 (.100)
    FT Made-Attempted 20-26 (.769) 9-15 (.600)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 20 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 21 4

    2005-06 Season

    » Nov 18, 2005 CONN 75, @PEPP 56Recap