Nov. 14, 2013
STORRS, Conn. - University of Connecticut sophomore gaurd Omar Calhoun (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led six UConn players in double figures with 17 points as the 19th-ranked Huskies topped Detroit 101-55 on Thursday night in the opening round of the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting The Wounded Warriors Project before a crowd of 8,140 at Gampel Pavilion. The Huskies improve to 3-0 on the seaosn while Detroit is 2-1.
Senior Niels Giffey (Berlin, Germany) tied the career-high he set against Yale on Monday with 15 points, all in the first half, for UConn. Giffey, who has not scored in the second half of a game this season, entered the game with UConn trailing and hit his first five shots. The Huskies used a 21-2 run to take a 48-26 halftime lead.
Sophomore gaurd Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) had 12 points and seven assists for UConn and senior guard Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) added 10 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, three days after recording the second triple-double of his career. All 14 Huskies played, and 13 scored.
Matthew Grant led Detroit with 15 points. Juwan Howard Jr., the son of former NBA player and current Miami Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard, added 14.
UConn coach Kevin Ollie went to Giffey after junior forward starter DeAndre Daniels (Los Angeles, Calif.), who came in with just eight points on the season, missed his first four attempts from the field. Daniels came on in the second half, scoring 11 points.
Giffey was 3 of 4 from three-point range and has hit 11 of his 14 attempts from beyond the arc this season. The Huskies, who came in shooting 53 percent on threes, were 11 of 19 Thursday.
Howard scored the Titan's first eight points of the game part of a 9-0 run that saw Detroit take an early 11-6 lead, the first time the Huskies had trailed all season. Giffey's driving layup and three-pointer on the next trip put the Huskies back on top 21-17. The Huskies used a 21-2 run to take Detroit out of its zone defense and take control of the game at 34-19. Boatright's three-pointer at the halftime buzzer gave the Huskies their 22-point lead.
Napier's driving layup after a nice crossover pushed the lead to 68-37. Freshman cetner Amida Brimah's (Accra, Ghana) dunk gave the Huskies a 40-point lead midway through the second half. The seven-foot freshman had four blocked shots, giving him 14 in the first three games.
The UConn bench, led by Giffey, scored 47 points. The bench players had 30 points in the Huskies' opener and 31 against Yale. Last season UConn didn't get more than 25 points from its reserves in any game.
UConn has won 40 consecutive games at Gampel Pavilion against non-conference opponents. The streak dates to the 2001 NIT, when the Huskies lost to Detroit, 67-61. UConn, which has already played in Hartford this season, hasn't lost its first game of the season on campus since Gampel opened in 1990. This was their 25th straight win in that streak.
The Huskies, who were outrebounded by Yale in an 80-62 win on Monday, had 49 rebounds to 34 for Detroit. The Titans came in averaging 51.5 a game.
UConn returns to action on Sunday at noon when its plays host to Boston University at noon in the second round of the tournament. The game will be televised by ESPNU and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.