– Gavin Edwards
(Gilbert, Ariz.) scored a career-high 17 points and Hasheem Thabeet
(Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania) dominated in the paint on both ends of the court as No. 2-ranked Connecticut handily defeated Delaware State, 79-49, Monday evening before a crowd of 9,734 at the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion.
The Huskies won for the seventh consecutive time to start the season, while the Hornets drop to 1-9 on the year.
Edwards set his career scoring mark at Connecticut by converting seven of nine field goal attempts in just 16 minutes of game action. His previous career mark was 16 points against Albany on November 26, 2006. Thabeet was immense all game in the lane. He scored 10 points and tied his career-high with 17 rebounds, giving him his fourth double-double of the season and 13th of his career. He also blocked four shots, including three in a dazzling span of 2:20 in the second half. He amassed nine rebounds in the game’s first eight and a half minutes.
The Hornets were able to stay close due to the phenomenal long-range shooting of Donald Johnson. Johnson (who finished with a game-best 25 points) scored 19 of Delaware State’s first 21 points. He made nine of 16 shots, including six of 11 from three-point range. The Huskies led just 14-11 with 12:21 to play in the first half, before Kemba Walker (Bronx, N.Y.) capped an 11-0 run with a three-pointer to put the Huskies ahead 25-11. Edwards made a nice three-point play off of a nice pass from Craig Austrie (Stamford, Conn.) in the middle of a 10-3 run that followed and the combined spurt of 21-3 put the contest firmly in the Huskies’ hands. Connecticut enjoyed a 44-18 lead at intermission.
Jerome Dyson (Rockville, Md.) finished with 15 points. He has scored in double figures in every game this season for Connecticut. Jeff Adrien (Brookline, Mass.) added 12 points and grabbed six rebounds in the contest.
A.J. Price (Amityville, N.Y.) scored just three points but had a game-high five assists against only one turnover in 30 minutes. Walker finished with nine points and four assists.
The Huskies shot 49 percent from the field, and made six of 14 three-pointers. The Huskies enjoyed a 40-18 advantage in points in the paint and had a 17-9 lead in fast break points.
Connecticut will play its first true road contest of the season on Thursday, December 4 when they travel to play at Buffalo. Tip-off is called for 7:00 p.m. and the contest will be televised by MyTV-9 and SNY.
Connecticut Head Coach Jim Calhoun Quotes
I liked what we did in the first half defensively.
It was a tough game to play in for our kids. I still would like to see to see them develop a little more suffocating and prideful defensive philosophy, and better ball movement. When we moved the ball well, we shot the ball exceptionally well. And when we moved it poorly and did some individual stuff, we obviously didn’t score anywhere near the way we’re capable of scoring against a team that we’re superior to.
We just had let-down periods in the second half that we really shouldn’t have had.
We don’t govern the circumstances of how the other team plays, but we have to react to that. We certainly could have reacted better.
They must have had six or seven rebounds where we were at half-court trying to start our fast break, which we didn’t need to do.
It wasn’t a negative game by any stretch of the imagination.
We really should have dominated the boards, and that it not something that we did anywhere near as well as we would have liked. And we really didn’t suffocate them on defense, which I think we could have done.
Jerome is in a good place…. He’s attacking the basket, he’s under control, he passes the ball as well as anybody right now.
It was nice to see Gavin get out and get some points….Gavin is going to have a fight on his hands. And the better the fight is, the better it is for UConn basketball, the deeper we can go, the more we can press and run.
I thought Hash was terrific. We just didn’t get him the ball enough….And it’s good for us, because it will develop us for later games.
On Donald Johnson
He’s an exceptional shooter, and the one he made down the stretch was phenomenal.
Delaware State Coach Greg Jackson
I thought we made some key adjustments at halftime. We got our guards more involved in the flow of the offense. We turned the ball over entirely too many times in the first half, especially against the number two team in the country.
I thought we came out with a lot of intensity. We came out with a very patient offense. We got a lot of wide-open shots. We just didn’t make shots. But to come in here and play this team that close in the second half says a lot about our team.
We couldn’t get into our offensive set (in the first half) because we turned the ball over so many times.
I’m very proud of the effort of the team in the second half.
They have five NBA players on the floor. It’s hard to play against a team that’s so talented. But I’ve told everyone all year long that Donald Johnson can shoot the ball as well as anyone in the country. He’s just on a team that’s not as talented as these teams. Could you imagine Donald Johnson being on this (UConn) team. We have to get him the basketball more. We told him the night before at practice to look for his shot and he came out looking for his shot.
I did a little bit of everything. I ran the floor, got rebounds, a little of everything.
I was a little more active. I got open and ran the plays.
This definitely helps my confidence, especially putting up a new career high and getting minutes the last few games. This definitely helps.
We don’t play teams that hold the ball to the end of the shot clock. Every day is a new challenge. We’re just trying to stack up some wins
Gavin was there to help us out. Every guy on the team really means something to us.
Right now we’re just trying to get together as one team.
On his two threes I’m a lot more confident. I work very hard in practice. I know shots are going to fall.
The team knows I can play. They know I can shoot. I really just need to get into the feel of the game.
Coach is always going to want a little more out of us. We could have played better in the second half. We gave up a lot of free baskets. We weren’t doing that in the first half.
On Hasheem-- He got 17 rebounds. Now he’s getting offensive rebounds and dunking it. That’s what we need down there. (On defense) he scares people when they get down into the paint.
In the second half we just did get the ball moving as much as coach would like. We need to do a better job of that.