Nov. 29, 2012
HARTFORD, Conn. - Sophomore guard Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) scored 19 points and the University of Connecticut men's basketball team posted a 61-53 win over a gritty New Hamsphire team before a crowd of 8,705 at the XL Center. UConn freshman guard Omar Calhoun (Brooklyn, N.Y.) added 16 points for the Huskies, who improve to 6-1 on the season while the Wildcats are 2-4.
New Hampshire's Ferg Myrick led all scorers with 20 points while Chris Pelcher added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Wildcats.
Connecticut never trailed and was up by 11 with 1:42 left, but Jordon Bronner cut the lead to six points on a three-point shot off a turnover by junior forward Niels Giffey (Berlin, Germany) with 1:22 left. A UConn shot-clock violation led to a layup by Pelcher that made it 57-53 with 36 seconds left. New Hampshire was then forced to foul and Boatright and Calhoun made their free throws as UConn sealed the win.
New Hampshire held UConn's leading scorer, junior guard Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.), to just five points on just nine shots.
Connecticut had four steals in the first four minutes of the game and jumped out to an 11-3 lead. The Huskies then missed their next eight shots and New Hampshire climbed back into the game at 13-11. Both teams struggled shooting the ball and UConn led just 25-18 at halftime.
It was the Huskies' lowest scoring half of the season and they missed all six of their three-point attempts. New Hampshire was just one of 11 from behind the arc in the half and shot just 23 percent from the floor.
Myrick's first three-pointer pulled the Wildcats to 18-16 extended a streak that has seen the team hit at least one three-pointer in 618 consecutive games, dating back to January 1991.
UConn stretched the lead to double digits twice in the second half, at 36-26 and again on Calhoun's three-point play, which gave the their Huskies biggest lead with 1:42 left.
The Huskiss outrebounded New Hampshire 43-40, the first time the Huskies have won the battle on the glass this season. Connecticut came in averaging just over 30 rebounds per game compared to 38 for their opponents.
This is an old New England rivalry, thoroughly dominated by UConn, which came into the game with a 90-25 series advantage. The Wildcats haven't beaten UConn since January 1983, and haven't won a road game against the Huskies since January 1974.
The game was the Huskies' first this year in Hartford. They haven't lost their XL Center opener since being beaten by Virginia here in 1987 and are now 25-0 since.
UCon returns to action on Tuesday when its plays in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden against 18th-ranked North Carolina State. Gametime is 9:00 p.m. on ESPN and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.