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Huskies Hold Off Hampton In NCAA First Round, 78-67

WASHINGTON (Fri., March 15, 2002) – Emeka Okafor (Fr., Houston, TX) and Johnnie Selvie (Sr., Flint, MI) each had a double-double, and Caron Butler (So., Racine, WI) had a team-leading 21 points to help the second-seeded Connecticut men’s basketball team hold back 15th-seeded Hampton, 78-67, in the first round of the 2002 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in Washington, D.C., on Friday.

With the win, UConn advances to face North Carolina State in a second round match up to be played on Sun., March 17, at 2:30 p.m. NC State earned its way into the second round with a 69-58 victory over Michigan State.

The Huskies won their 10th straight game, which is their longest winning streak of the season, and have pushed their record to 25-6. Hampton ended its season with a 26-7 mark. UConn head coach Jim Calhoun remained perfect in NCAA First Round play with a 10-0 record.

Connecticut led by as many as 15 in the first half behind a 17-for-29 shooting performance, and led it 46-35 at the break. Butler finished the first half with 14.

At three points in the second half, Hampton whittled the lead down to four points. The latest charge came when Tommy Adams had a layup and a dunk to bring Hampton within 71-67 with 3:05 remaining. From that point, UConn held the Pirates scoreless and went on a 7-0 run to close out the contest.

Okafor finished with a dozen points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots. His rebound total tied his career high as he also grabbed 15 at Arizona. His double-double was his team-leading seventh of the season. Selvie’s was his fourth of the year as he finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Butler was 7-of-16 from the field for his 21 points, pulled down nine rebounds and dished out six assists to tie his season high.