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HARTFORD, Conn. --- The UConn men’s basketball team used 12 different scorers to pile up 83 points as it rolled to an 83-43 victory over Division II New Haven Saturday before a crowd of 7,518 at the XL Center in the final exhibition game of the season.
The Huskies, ranked No. 20 in the AP Top 25 and No. 24 in the USA Today poll, begin regular-season play on Friday against the University of Maine at Gampel Pavilion. The game will tip at 7:30 p.m. and will be televised by the SNY network.
Against New Haven, UConn had only two double-figure scorers, as junior Rodney Purvis (Raleigh, N.C.) and freshman Steven Enoch (Norwalk, Conn.) each scored 11, but the Huskies had five more players scoring at least 8 points in the balanced offensive attack.
UConn, looking much smoother than in its 88-72 exhibition win over Tampa last week, took charge from the outset against New Haven. All five UConn starters had scored before the first media timeout and the Huskies never looked back.
With Coach Kevin Ollie substituting freely, the UConn lead grew from 20-15 to 30-17 before the Huskies settled for a 38-20 advantage at halftime.
UConn’s depth wore down the visiting Chargers, who were held to just 30.8 percent shooting, while the Huskies hit 51.6 percent overall and canned 15 of 19 free throws. UConn also handed out 16 assists and blocked 10 shots.
The Huskies scored 56 points in the paint and poured in 24 fastbreak points.
UConn dominated the boards as well, outrebounding New Haven, 43-26, led by 7 from junior Amida Brimah (Accra, Ghana) and 6 each by senior Shonn Miller (Euclid, Ohio) and senior Omar Calhoun (Brooklyn, N.Y.).
The Huskies gradually widened the gap in the second half, building a 66-33 advantage and coasting to the 40-point final.
“We had a real balanced attack and we were sharing the basketball,” Ollie said. “We had just four assists at halftime, but we had a lot of missed open shots. Then in the second half, we came out and really moved the ball and guys starting making shots.”
Besides Purvis and Enoch, the Huskies had 9-point contributions from Brimah, sophomore Daniel Hamilton (Los Angeles, Calif.), and freshman Jalen Adams (Roxbury, Mass.), while Miller and Calhoun added 8 apiece. Michael Bourke led New Haven with 10 points and Joshua Guddemi had 9.
“The important thing is that we came together and we shared the ball,” Purvis said. “That’s the main thing, you know. We are only two exhibitions games in, but I think it’s a great start for us.”
It was the 44th consecutive exhibition game victory for UConn over the last 22 years.
“I put on the board that I wanted us to have return on our investment,” Ollie said, “and I really think these guys have been investing themselves and working hard, tremendously hard, in practice. It was good to see everybody out there having fun.”
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