Dec. 06, 2013
HARTFORD, Conn. - University of Connecticut junior guard Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) scored 17 points to lead a balanced UConn attack and the 12th-ranked Huskies men's basketball team defeated Maine by a score of 95-68 before a crowd of 9,681 at the XL Center on Friday night.
UConn improves to 9-0 on the season while the Black Bears fall to 1-7. Junior center DeAndre Daniels (Los Angeles, Calif.) and sophomore guard Omar Calhoun (Brooklyn, N.Y.) both added 16 points for the Huskies, who have won 54 consecutive home games against non-conference opponents. Senior forward Niels Giffey (Berlin, Germany) added 12 points.
UConn senior guard Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) scored seven points and had eight assists, becoming the fourth player in school history with at least 1,000 points and 500 assists.
Xavier Pollard had 20 points for Maine, which has lost six straight. UConn shot 53 percent from the field including 56 percent from 3-point range. The Huskies are off to their best start since going 10-0 to open 2010-11.
UConn led 54-31 at halftime and stretched the lead to 30 points early in the second half. Boatright missed a dunk on a lob from Napier, but gathered his own rebound, dribbled to the left corner and drained a 3-pointer that made it 70-40.
Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie began going deep into his bench after that as none of the Husky starters played more than 26 minutes.
Maine stayed in the game early as Connecticut hit the game's first two shots, but missed its next five and the Black Bears used an 8-0 run to take an 8-5 lead. UConn called two timeouts before the first media timeout, and didn't retake the lead until Giffey made a layup 6 minutes into the game.
UConn was able to stretch things out from there as Giffey's steal, dunk and free throw gave the Huskies a 27-14 lead, part of 16-2 run. Daniels hit all five of his shots in the first half, including two three-pointers, and the Huskies were seven of 15 from behind the arc in the opening 20 minutes.
Calhoun was four of 9 from three-point range to break out of a mini-slump that saw him score just 23 points over his last five games.
Pollard and Dimitry Akanda-Coronel had 24 of the Black Bear's 31 first-half points. Akanda-Coronel didn't score in the second half and finished with nine points.
The Huskies came in having hit just under 45 percent of their shots from behind the arc. They were 14 of 25 on Friday - one shy of setting a school single-game record.
Napier, who came in averaging 16.4 points per game, never looked for his shot against the Black Bears. He was just two of five from the field. His eight assists give him 504 for his career. He joins Tate George, Taliek Brown and Doron Sheffer as Huskies who have topped the 1,000-point and 500-assist plateaus.
The Huskies haven't lost to a non-conference opponent in Connecticut since a 77-73 setback to Indiana on Jan. 20, 2007.
Maine coach Ted Woodward began his career as a graduate assistant on Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun's staff in 1986.
The Huskies now break for final exams for the fall semester and return to action on Wednesday, Dec. 18 against Stanford at 9:00 p.m. at the XL Center. The game will be televised on ESPN2 and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.