UConn men's hoops cruise past CCSU in season opener

Published on Tuesday, 9 November 2021 21:37

Journal Inquirer

STORRS - For fans of the UConn men’s basketball team, their long wait to watch their team again was worth it.

No. 24 UConn throttled Central Connecticut State 99-48 Tuesday night before an energetic sellout crowd of 10,167 at Gampel Pavilion in the season opener for both teams.

Adama Sanogo led the Huskies with 20 points, making nine of his 11 shots from the floor. R.J. Cole added 15 points and Tyrese Martin had 14.

Five Huskies scored in double figures and eight had at least eight points.

With a full complement of fans in the stands here for the first time in 20 months, the Huskies (1-0) enthusiastically ran away from the Blue Devils (0-1) quickly.

UConn went on runs of 13-0 and 15-0 in the first half, went up by 30 with three minutes to play in the half, and took a commanding 52-23 lead at the break.

Sanogo, Cole, and Martin combined for 39 points on 11-for-11 shooting in the opening half.

At the other end of the floor, the Huskies helped force the Blue Devils into 16 first-half turnovers.

The Huskies made their first eight shots from the floor, most of which came in the paint. Sanogo had eight points in that span, hitting all four of his attempts, and helped stake UConn to a 20-5 lead.

Taking advantage of their massive edge in size, the hosts scored 13 straight points to take a 17-point lead after just eight minutes of play.

UConn made 15 of its first 19 shots from the floor. In the same span Central connected on 50 percent of its attempts, but also had 11 turnovers.

Dan Hurley, beginning his fourth season as UConn’s coach, used all 11 scholarship players available to him as well as two walk-ons. Cole, Sanogo, Martin, Andre Jackson, and Isaiah Whaley started.

The game marked a return to campus for longtime UConn assistant coach Pat Sellers, now in his first season as the Blue Devils’ head coach.

UConn is 16-0 in its history. It beat Central 102-75 here last season.

“This is one of those teams like when I was here in the early 2000’s with the size and the length and the athleticism. These guys have a chance to be a special team,” Sellers said.

As expected, UConn played without guard Jordan Hawkins, the 6-foot-5 freshman who is dealing an ankle injury.

Posted in The Bristol Press, CCSU, UConn on Tuesday, 9 November 2021 21:37. Updated: Tuesday, 9 November 2021 21:40.