Gampel Pavilion without power for 20 minutes

STORRS, Conn. (AP) -- With a howling snowstorm whipping up outside, Connecticut and Northeastern had hardly worked up a sweat when the power went out inside.

The lights went out in Gampel Pavilion less than three minutes into the game Monday night, and after a 20-minute delay, Connecticut (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) dominated inside in a 97-60 victory.

Josh Boone had a career-high 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead Connecticut in the matchup of schools nicknamed Huskies.

"It's good that we could come back from (the delay)," Boone said. "It's something that stopped the momentum, stops the flow of the game. But it was good that we showed poise."

UConn (4-0) gave Northeastern (2-4) few good looks all night and shut down the backcourt of Marcus Barnes and Jose Juan Barea, who entered the game averaging a combined 44 points. Barnes finished with 20 points, while Barea had 10 on 3-for-20 shooting. The two combined to go 3-for-18 from 3-point range.

UConn, the reigning national champion, has won 13 straight games dating to last season.

The game meshed UConn coach Jim Calhoun's past and present. His 33 seasons in Division I coaching started with 14 at Northeastern, which he led to five NCAA Tournament appearances while compiling a 248-137 record. In his 19th season at UConn, Calhoun has built the program into a national power with two national championships and a 436-165 record.

Connecticut leads the series 32-4 and hasn't lost to Northeastern since Calhoun coached a team that included the late Reggie Lewis and current UConn assistant Andre LaFleur to a 90-73 victory on Dec. 28, 1985.

Calhoun said he was tempted to continue playing once the dimmer auxiliary lighting was on.

"I said, 'Why don't we play? We've played in worse gyms than this,'" Calhoun said.

UConn had taken an 8-3 lead when the lights went out with 17:15 left in the first half. Bad weather in the area caused about 24,000 people to lose power and that didn't include the 10,000 in Gampel Pavilion. Northeastern's Bennet Davis had launched a high-arcing 3-pointer when Gampel fell dark. Whether it was good was a matter of debate.

Northeastern coach Ron Everhart swore he heard a swish. Boone disagreed.

"It definitely did not go in. I heard it hit the rim," Boone said.

It likely would have made little difference because UConn was just warming up. Over the next six minutes, it built a 15-point lead. Northeastern closed within nine points on Barea's 3-pointer with 3:47 remaining, but UConn scored the next six points and led 43-28 at halftime.

Boone, a 6-foot-10 sophomore, had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the first half. UConn had a 36-21 edge on the boards and Boone had six of UConn's 23 defensive rebounds in the half.

"They were relentless," Everhart said. "Those guys really did a good job of getting to the rim, blocking us out and getting the rebound."

Charlie Villanueva scored 17 points and Denham Brown added 15 for UConn, which outscored Northeastern 52-20 in the paint and finished with a 74-39 rebounding edge. Boone and Villanueva combined for six of UConn's 11 blocked shots.

UConn got to the line 35 times with its physical inside game, making 23 free throws.

"I think our size -- 74 rebounds are a lot of rebounds -- eventually wore them down," Calhoun said of his young team. "We're a team that's fighting and finding ourselves at the same time."

ESPN Fan Shop Powered By

  • Nike Men's UConn Huskies Blue ELITE Basketball KO Performance Pullover HoodieShop