HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Connecticut big men Jeff Adrien and Hasheem Thabeet both had career nights as UConn beat Gardner-Webb 89-72 on Tuesday, the second victory for the Huskies over the Runnin' Bulldogs in less than a week.
UConn (4-1) also beat Gardner-Webb (4-3) last Thursday by 12 points, 78-66, in the semifinals of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic.The Huskies were led by guard A.J. Price in that one, but this time, UConn went inside early and often. The 6-foot-7 Adrien had a career-high 24 points to go along with 14 rebounds and the 7-3 Thabeet set career highs in both categories, with 22 points and 14 boards.Thabeet, who had not scored more than 11 points all season, had 12 points and 10 rebounds by halftime.UConn trailed just once, 3-2, and used a 10-0 run to stretch a 9-7 lead to 19-7.Gardner-Webb, which upset Kentucky 84-68 at Rupp Arena on Nov. 7, seemed content to live or die by the 3-point shot, taking 16 in the first 12 minutes and hitting just three of those.But Nate Blank kept the Bulldogs in the game, getting hot midway through the first half and hitting four consecutive 3's to cut a 32-17 deficit to 38-29. He had 17 points at halftime and finished with 25, hitting 6-of-11 from 3-point range.UConn didn't hit its first 3-pointer until Price launched one from the left baseline with less than a minute to go in the first half, and UConn went into the locker room with a 48-33 lead.The Huskies opened the second half with a 16-7 run to put the game out of reach.Gardner-Webb could not handle UConn's inside game. Forward Thomas Sanders, who had 20 points and 14 rebounds against the Huskies during their meeting last week, had 13 and six this time.Price, who had 18 to lead the Huskies on Thursday, finished with just five.