7:00 PM ET, November 29, 2005
XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Rashad Anderson snapped Connecticut out of a funk in its home opener.Anderson scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half and the third-ranked Huskies beat Army 68-54 in their first game since winning the Maui Invitational with rugged victories over Arizona and Gonzaga. But it appeared at times that UConn left its A-game on the islands. "We should be the team that comes out of Hawaii playing great because we accomplished a lot," coach Jim Calhoun said. "We refused to put out the same effort. We just didn't seem ready to play." UConn (5-0) stalled for long stretches against Army's deliberate offense until Anderson came off the bench in the first half, during which UConn trailed by as many as six. He scored 11 points in the final 3:43 of the period and had three 3-pointers and a steal in an up-tempo 16-5 UConn run. The Huskies closed the half with a 35-27 lead. "I just took it upon myself to kind of change the game," Anderson said. "They're a team that slows the game down a lot. We didn't run that much tonight like we usually do." Jarrell Brown had a career-high 26 points for Army, including four 3-pointers that helped the Black Knights (2-3) stay close early. Brown had four of Army's seven first-half 3s and repeatedly found the open spot in the UConn defense, prompting Calhoun to frequently swap defenders on him. "West Point gives you everything possible," Calhoun said. "I'd like to have those guys on my side. They're tough, hard, they go after every ball and they run their offense like crazy." But the Black Knights also were overmatched in size and speed against the more athletic Huskies and had their hands full with rangy forward Rudy Gay. He finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and five steals, despite struggling at times. "You can't take anyone for granted. [Army] came out here and played hard," Gay said. "Every single team is going to play like that against us." UConn opened the second half with a 10-0 run and appeared to be headed for a rout, leading by as many as 18. But the Black Knights refused to fold. Brown scored eight points during an 8-minute stretch and Army cut the UConn lead to 56-46 with 6:21 left. "We just started playing better basketball, and just kept pounding away and pounding away," Army coach Jim Crews said. "For the most part our kids did a pretty good job against a team that's probably as talented, if not the most talented team in the country." The Huskies went without a field goal during that stretch. Freshman guard Craig Austrie ended the drought, hitting consecutive baskets with 5:01 left and Army was unable to mount much of a threat after that. UConn dominated the paint, outscoring Army 30-8 in the lane. The Huskies outrebounded the Black Knights 41-26 and scored 31 points off turnovers. Hilton Armstrong and Josh Boone each added 10 points for UConn. Corban Bates scored 10 for Army. The Huskies have won all 19 home openers under Calhoun, but this one left room for improvement. "We just didn't come out ready to play -- bottom line," Anderson said. "We didn't defend. That's why the game was so close. We have to go back and watch film and learn from our mistakes."