Feb. 4, 2012
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Freshman Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) had 19 points and sophomore Jeremy Lamb (Norcross, Ga.) scored 17 as the University of Connecticut men's basketball team, which played without coach Jim Calhoun, defeated Seton Hall 69-46 on Saturday before a crowd of 16,294 at the XL Center.
Lamb added eight rebounds and Boatright had five assists and four steals for the Huskies (15-7, 5-5 BIG EAST), who ended a four-game losing streak. Freshman Andre Drummond (Middletown, Conn.) scored just seven points but had seven blocks.
Jordan Theodore and Aaron Cosby each had 10 points to lead Seton Hall, which was leading scorer and rebounder Herb Pope. The Pirates (15-8, 4-7) have lost six straight.
Connecticut led 30-17 at the half and opened the second half with a 9-2 run. A lob from Boatright to Drummond for a dunk became a three-point play after a foul shot, giving UConn a 48-29 lead and the Huskies cruised from there.
Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard was ejected after he picked up two quick technical fouls with UConn up 55-38. Those came after a foul on Theodore and brief altercation between him and sophomore Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.). Connecticut hit five of six free throws for a 60-38 lead, but by that time the game already had been decided.
UConn assistant George Blaney coached in Calhoun's absence as the Huskies are 3-1 in games he has coached this season, all in the BIG EAST.
Blaney started a three-guard lineup, the eighth different starting five the Huskies have used this season, going with Boatright, Napier and Lamb. That allowed the Huskies to press. A steal and dunk by Boatright gave UConn a 10-4 lead. But Drummond picked up two early fouls and the Pirates came right back. They led 11-10 after a three-pointer by Brandon Mobley.
Connecticut got it going again late in the half. Napier made a basket after 19 consecutive misses over three games to give UConn an 18-13 lead. That was part of a 14-2 run.
Connecticut held the Pirates to six field goals and 24 percent shooting to lead by 13 at halftime. The Pirates shot 26 percent for the game and had 15 turnovers and 23 fouls. UConn blocked nine shots and Drummond had seven of those.
Pope bruised his ribs in Tuesday's loss to Marquette and did not make the trip. The 6-foot-8 senior is averaging 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds.
Calhoun, who will get credit for any wins his team earns during his leave, is No. 6 on the career list with 868. He has won three national championships at Connecticut and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005. He coached the team to its fourth Final Four and third national title last April.
The Huskies have a quick turnaround as they return to action on Monday for a ESPN Big Monday matchup at Louisville at 7:00 p.m. The game can also be heard on the WTIC-UConn Radio Network.