Huskies use 21-0 first-half run to pull away

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Marcus Williams tossed the ball up and Charlie Villanueva and Josh Boone threw it down.

Williams had a school-record 16 assists and Boone and Villaneuva scored 20 points each to lead No. 11 Connecticut to an 87-59 victory over Central Connecticut on Wednesday night. Boone also had 11 rebounds and four blocked shots.

The Blue Devils (2-5) did not start a player over 6-foot-6, and Connecticut, which featured four players over 6-9, took advantage. The Huskies (6-1) outscored Central 54-10 in the paint.

"On a lot of alley-oops, you could just throw it over the top of them and Charlie and Josh did a good job finishing," Williams said.

Williams found the 6-10 Boone and the 6-11 Villanueva open under the basket all game and broke the assist record of 14 previously held by Kevin Ollie and Earl Kelley.

Freshman Rudy Gay and Rashad Anderson each added 16 points for the Huskies.

The Blue Devils (2-5) stayed in the game by going 8-of-14 from 3-point range to trail 37-32 with 4:04 left in the first half. UConn then went on a 21-0 run over the next seven minutes, including three consecutive 3-pointers by Anderson to open the second half. All three came on assists by Williams.

"I think he can get more," Anderson said. "I think he can get 20, especially in a game when I'm really feeling it."

DeMario Anderson, who was 3-of-6 from 3-point range, led the Blue Devils with a career-high 23 points. Javier Mojica added 13 points and eight rebounds, and Lenny Jefferson had 12 points by going 4-for-5 on 3s.

"It slipped away from us," Central Connecticut coach Howie Dickenman said. "When you are playing a team like the University of Connecticut it can slip away in a hurry, and that's what happened."

Connecticut reached its season average with 11 blocked shots in the game, including four each by Boone and Gay.

UConn coach Jim Calhoun called the game a confidence builder, especially for Villanueva, who had been averaging just 7.8 points.

"If they have a good game, they feel better about themselves," Calhoun said. "He was very good in the post and he passed the ball well and, quite frankly, he played better defense."

Connecticut is 12-0 against its in-state rival, including 2-0 against Dickenman, who served as an assistant to Calhoun at UConn from 1986-1996.


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