STORRS, CT (December, 8) Sophomore forward Caron Butler (Racine, WI) had a game-high 19 points and seven rebounds to lead the University of Connecticut mens basketball team to an 80-44 win over Northeastern Saturday night at Gampel Pavilion.
The win improved UConns record to 4-1. Connecticut, in its first campus home game of the season, also improved to 13-0 in Gampel openers since the building opened in 1989-90. Northeastern dropped to 1-7 with the loss.
The Huskies, who never trailed in the game, jumped out to an early lead with a 13-2 run, capped by a Butler layup with 15:31 to play in the half. Northeastern struggled from the field in the games first 10 minutes, connecting on only 3-of-15 attempts.
Tough interior defense helped the Huskies build the lead to 40-23 by halftime. Freshman center Emeka Okafor (Houston, TX) recorded six of his career-high eight blocks in the stanza, and UConn turned 12 Northeastern first-half turnovers into 20 points.
Connecticut cruised in the second half, taking its biggest lead of the night at 79-39 on a free throw from sophomore Shamon Tooles (Coatesville, PA) with just over two minutes to play. The Huskies swatted away six Northeastern shots in the half, giving the team a season-best 13 blocked shots for the game.
UConn shot 44.3 percent from the floor for the game while holding Northeastern to only 29.7 percent. The Huskies also won the battle on boards, grabbing 51 rebounds to Northeasterns 35.
Butler, one of four Huskies to score in double figures, played 29 minutes and added a season-high six assists. Ricky Cranford led Northeastern with 10 points in the contest, all of which came in the first half.
Senior forward Johnnie Selvie (Flint, MI) notched his first double-double of the season with 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Okafor also finished with five points and six rebounds, and junior guard Tony Robertson (Providence, RI) had 14 points.
Next up for the Huskies is a trip to Amherst, MA, for a Dec. 11 meeting with Massachusetts. The game is set to begin at 9 p.m. at the Mullins Center, and will be broadcast by ESPN.