Hartford 56

(0-2, 0-1 away)

(2) Connecticut 99

(2-0, 2-0 home)

7:00 PM ET, November 17, 2008

XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut

1 2 T
HART 32 2456
#2CONN 41 5899

Top Performers

Hartford: M. Sabia 15 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast

Connecticut: K. Walker 21 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

Price-less UConn finishes off Hartford with 33-5 run in second half

Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. -- With starting point guard A.J. Price sitting out to rest a sprained ankle, Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun was hoping another leader would step forward for the second-ranked Huskies against Hartford.

Fast Facts

• UConn has now won 55 of its last 56 home games against unranked non-conference opponents.

• After leading 45-44 with 16:39 left in the second half, the Huskies finished the game on a 54-12 run.

• UConn has now won 63 straight games against other schools from Connecticut.

-- ESPN research

Craig Austrie did that in a literal way Monday, stepping into the gaps in the Hawks' zone defense and hitting 15-foot jump shots.

Austrie and freshman Kemba Walker scored 21 points each and Connecticut ran away from Hartford 99-56, the Huskies' 63rd consecutive win against an instate opponent.

"The in-between shot is something that in basketball, everybody just kind of passes on that," Calhoun said. "Craig just stepped up. His leadership just took over."

Jerome Dyson added 18 points and Jeff Adrien had 12 points and 15 rebounds for UConn.

Morgan Sabia, who fouled out with seven minutes left, had 15 points for Hartford (0-2), while Joe Zeglinski added 11.

The Huskies (2-0) could not shake the Hawks for more than a half. Hartford went on a 10-2 run in the second half to get within 43-42.

"Morgan and Joe got going, which are the two guys that really offensively drive us and give us confidence when their ball is going in the basket," Hartford coach Dan Leibovitz said. "We just got some stops, and all the sudden, as the game gets closer, the zone can create a little bit of doubt in your opponent at times."

But UConn responded, starting a 33-5 run a short time later and the rout was on. Connecticut scored 54 of the game's final 66 points.

"Yeah, they made their run, and we withstood that run and did our thing," Austrie said. "We're the No. 2 team in the country, and we have to expect things like that and we're only going to grow from things like that."

The key stretch began with a dunk by Adrien. Dyson then stole the ball from Jaret Von Rosenberg, dribbled behind his back and made a layup to make it 57-49, with 12:37 left.

On the next possession. Hartford's Andres Torres was called for a 5-second violation, and picked up a technical foul after arguing the call. Austrie hit the free throw and Walker made a 3-pointer to make it 62-49.

"On the free throw, we huddled and we told ourselves that we had to pick ourselves up, just get out there and play and win this game," Walker said.

Hartford committed 34 personal fouls and the Huskies were in the bonus six minutes into the game.

But it took Connecticut a while to find the shooting touch.

UConn led just 16-12 at the first timeout, and Calhoun showed his displeasure by substituting liberally after mistakes. Nine Huskies played in the first five minutes.

UConn shot just 37 percent from the field in the first half, but 60 percent in the second. They held the Hawks to 28 percent shooting in the second half, and outrebounded Hartford 47-32.

"Defense is what really picked it up for us," Dyson said. "Once we got into them and made them work hard, they didn't have anything left on the defensive end."

Price, who rolled his ankle in the Huskies' 81-55 win over Western Carolina on Friday, was in uniform but did not play. Calhoun said Price could have played, but he didn't want to risk aggravating the injury before the Huskies play three games this weekend in the Paradise Jam Tournament on St. Thomas.

UConn's last loss to another team from Connecticut was to Hartford in 1986, Calhoun's first season with the Huskies. The 49-48 victory remains the Hawks' only win over the Huskies in 14 tries. The teams haven't played since 1998, a 95-58 UConn rout.

The loss dropped Hartford to 1-28 against teams from the Big East.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 56 99
FG Made-Attempted 19-55 (.345) 30-62 (.484)
3P Made-Attempted 6-25 (.240) 6-20 (.300)
FT Made-Attempted 12-17 (.706) 33-46 (.717)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 34 (0/0) 16 (0/0)
Largest Lead 2 31

2008-09 Season

» Nov 17, 2008 @CONN 99, HART 56Recap