HARTFORD – Shabazz Napier collected a triple-double, Niels Giffey and Omar Calhoun were sharp shooting from the outside, and the UConn men’s basketball team defeat Yale, 80-62 on Monday afternoon before 8,848 at the XL Center.
Giffey scored 15 points, all in the first half, when he hit all five of his three-point attempts, including four on consecutive trips down the floor. Calhoun scored 18, hitting 3 of 5 on three-pointers. The Huskies featured the three, hitting 10 of 15 as a team.
Shabazz Napier avoided the foul trouble that plagued him against Maryland and played a strong all-around game, the second triple-double of his career with 14, 10 rebounds and 10 assists – and only one turnover.
Ryan Boatright scored 14, hitting both of his threes.
UConn (2-0) led by as much as 21 points in the second half, but struggled to the finish as Giffey and Phil Nolan picked up their fourth fouls. Yale (1-1) was led by Justin Sears with 16 points, most in the second half.
Freshman Amidah Brimah had seven blocks in 22 minutes, putting his defensive stamp on the game. Yale out-rebounded the Huskies 43 to 31, though most of their margin came in the second half with UConn far in front.
UConn started out a bit sluggish, and the score was tied, 9-9, after Jesse Pritchard hit a three-pointer for Yale with 11:16 to go in the first half.
Then Niels Giffey started shooting threes. He made four in a row on four consecutive trips down the floor to put the Huskies in control. Giffey, who made all three of his three-point attempts against Marylannd, went 5 for 5 in the first half of this game to score 15 points in 12 minutes, before picking up his second foul and sitting out.
That was UConn’s margin at the half, which it finished with a 39-24 lead. Omar Calhoun had 10 points, and Yale’s top scorer, Justin Sears, was held to five as the Bulldogs made only 7 of 26 from the floor.
By Dom Amore, Hartford Courant