— Senior forward Jeff Adrien
(Brookline, Mass.) notched his 36th career double-double to lead all five Connecticut starters in double figure scoring as the 2nd-ranked Huskies used some solid shooting to defeat Stony Brook, 91-57, Monday evening before a crowd of 12,721 at the XL Center.
The Huskies won their ninth consecutive game to start the season, while the Seawolves drop to 5-5 on their campaign.
Adrien made all eight of his field goal attempts in scoring 18 points while yanking down 10 rebounds, all on the defensive end. He earned his third double-double of the season, and his 36 at Connecticut gives him the most among active BIG EAST players. Adrien was complemented by his frontcourt mate Hasheem Thabeet (Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania), who had 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds. He has now made 22 of his last 30 field goal attempts over a span of four games.
Each of the three Connecticut starting guards also notched double-figure scoring. Junior Jerome Dyson (Rockville, Md.) scored 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out five assists. Dyson has scored in double figures in nine of his last 10 games. Senior guards A.J. Price (Amityville, N.Y.) and Craig Austrie (Stamford, Conn.) each scored 13 points for the Huskies. Price broke out of a two-game shooting slump by making half of his six three-point attempts, while Austrie added seven assists, making all of his three-point tries.
The Huskies, playing for the first time since taking a 10-day break for semester exams, started slowly, and just three minutes into the contest head coach Jim Calhoun had substituted for his starting lineup. But Connecticut pounded the ball inside, making four of their first seven baskets on dunk shots. The Huskies led just 12-9 after Stony Brook’s Danny Carter hit a three-pointer, but the Huskies went on a 12-2 run to open up some daylight on the Seawolves. The Huskies opened up a 20-point lead before Carter hit back-to-back threes to cut the lead to 14, at 44-30 at intermission.
The second half saw the Huskies play much sharper as they shot 70 percent from the field after halftime. Connecticut ended up shooting 63 percent from the field (a season best), while connecting on a season-best 62 percent (eight of 13) from beyond the arc. The Huskies had a tremendous 26 assists on 32 made baskets.
The game marked the 2008-2009 debut of junior forward Stanley Robinson (Birmingham, Ala.), who missed the first semester after taking a leave of absence. He scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds in 16 active minutes. The contest also marked the 12th time that Calhoun had faced a former assistant on the court. Calhoun is now 12-0 in these contests.
Carter finished with a game-high 20 points for Stony Brook.
The Huskies will now travel across the country to play nationally-ranked Gonzaga in the Battle in Seattle at Key Arena on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 4:00 p.m. and the contest will be televised regionally and can be seen locally on WFSB-TV 3.
Post Game Quotes
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I think Steve did a nice job with his team, especially to get it back to 14 at halftime. Obviously, we had size and some athletic ability.
I would have liked to have seen us jump on them early. We’ve been preaching defense and defense and defense. We started out OK, but we didn’t run a bit of offense. We made some baskets because we are better. And we really didn’t play great defense. We gave up some shots that they missed. In the second half, I think we turned it around.
Overall, I think we started to lock them up better in the second half, and did a much better job.
But we gave them too many open shots, and I have a feeling the kids from Gonzaga may hit those shots.
I would like to see more of us. We’re 9 and 0. I think we could be really, really good. I just would like to see us much tougher and much more suffocating on defense, and I think we’re going to have to be.
We won by an impressive score in a semi-spurty impressive manner. We just didn’t play full. If we do that, we’ll lose a game we shouldn’t.
Jerome played just an absolute terrific game the whole game. He was tough. The coach’s voice actually doesn’t make him melt, which is nice and pleasant for our team to see.
I thought Hasheem was fair at best. He was the biggest guy on the court. I thought he should have gotten 30 and blocked every shot in the building. Because I think he’s terrific, and I didn’t think he played terrific.
Jeff, I thought, rebounded better, but didn’t play much defense.
Kemba just wasn’t very good.
I thought Craig got us going in the second half by skipping the ball and doing a nice job.
He does contest jump shots, which is really something strange that we haven’t seen all year. We actually have a guy who goes out, and those three points are going to be a little more difficult if you try to shoot them over him.
I thought he was spectacular. I don’t know how you do what he did. Basically not touch an organized basketball since May, practice one day….The guy had one day of practice. It did show that we looked more versatile with him out there, and looked bigger, which we haven’t at times….
I love being back, but not the way we played tonight. UConn’s terrific. We’ve actually been a good defensive team. We didn’t do that tonight. They’re good. They’re bigger than us. They’ve got outside shooters. They played well today. I didn’t think we played well. I’m disappointed in our effort.
I love coming back here to Connecticut. It’s a great place, a great family.
I like my freshman class. They played a lot of minutes…….I like their size. They have good America East size. They’re skilled. They play with passion. They play hard.
On his time off
I learned about responsibility; coming from 5 months of working 7 to 3:30 (pm). I had to work-out and work on my jump shot.
On first game back
I felt comfortable out there. The crowd welcomed me with a great welcome. I felt good about everything.
On his first points coming off a dunk
Man that was great. It brought me back to last year. It felt good.
On having Stanley Robinson back
We’ve been a 3 guard look this year, not having that size on the wing. Having Stanley come back will really help us rebounding defensively.
On Stanley’s climb back to rejoin the team
What he’s done, I had to do myself at one point so I know exactly what he’s going through. It’s a humbling experience. I think it really helps you grow as a person. He’s done everything that’s been asked of him –get up and working five days a week. Now he’s back playing basketball – the thing he loves to do – and I think he’ll appreciate it much more.
What was the problem when the Stony Brook made their run at the end of the 1st half?
We can’t count on having Hasheem back there and think he’ll just block everything. The guards have to do a better job on the people in front of us.
How did it feel to finally get back to playing games?
It felt good to get out of practice. We’ve been competing against each other the last 11 days and to come out and get a game under our belt felt good.
Today he said we started slow so we tried to pick it up. He’s always expecting the best out of us. In the beginning, he had to take the whole starting five out. He thought we weren’t giving 100%. So we had to go out, be mentally tough, and be ready to go back into the game. We went out there and got the job done.
On Gonzaga game last year
We were young. We were still growing. We were going through our growing stage. We were still trying to find a way to win close games like that.
On Gonzaga this year
We’ve been waiting for this game since last year because we lost in Boston. We’re going to go out there, and we’re going to fight. We’re going to be ready.
Offensively they’re a really good team. They have some great players over there.
On Stanley Robinson’s return
He was really excited to come back. He had an amazing dunk in the beginning. That’s what he does.
We have to play solid defense out on the top, and help out a lot more. We just have to do a better job of rotating.