HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Rashad Anderson snapped Connecticut out
of a funk in its home opener.
Anderson scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half and the
third-ranked Huskies beat Army 68-54 in their first game since
winning the Maui Invitational with rugged victories over Arizona
But it appeared at times that UConn left its A-game on the
"We should be the team that comes out of Hawaii playing great
because we accomplished a lot," coach Jim Calhoun said. "We
refused to put out the same effort. We just didn't seem ready to
UConn (5-0) stalled for long stretches against Army's deliberate
offense until Anderson came off the bench in the first half, during
which UConn trailed by as many as six. He scored 11 points in the
final 3:43 of the period and had three 3-pointers and a steal in an
up-tempo 16-5 UConn run.
The Huskies closed the half with a 35-27 lead.
"I just took it upon myself to kind of change the game,"
Anderson said. "They're a team that slows the game down a lot. We
didn't run that much tonight like we usually do."
Jarrell Brown had a career-high 26 points for Army, including
four 3-pointers that helped the Black Knights (2-3) stay close
early. Brown had four of Army's seven first-half 3s and repeatedly
found the open spot in the UConn defense, prompting Calhoun to
frequently swap defenders on him.
"West Point gives you everything possible," Calhoun said.
"I'd like to have those guys on my side. They're tough, hard, they
go after every ball and they run their offense like crazy."
But the Black Knights also were overmatched in size and speed
against the more athletic Huskies and had their hands full with
rangy forward Rudy Gay. He finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and
five steals, despite struggling at times.
"You can't take anyone for granted. [Army] came out here and
played hard," Gay said. "Every single team is going to play like
that against us."
UConn opened the second half with a 10-0 run and appeared to be
headed for a rout, leading by as many as 18. But the Black Knights
refused to fold. Brown scored eight points during an 8-minute
stretch and Army cut the UConn lead to 56-46 with 6:21 left.
"We just started playing better basketball, and just kept
pounding away and pounding away," Army coach Jim Crews said. "For
the most part our kids did a pretty good job against a team that's
probably as talented, if not the most talented team in the
The Huskies went without a field goal during that stretch.
Freshman guard Craig Austrie ended the drought, hitting consecutive
baskets with 5:01 left and Army was unable to mount much of a
threat after that.
UConn dominated the paint, outscoring Army 30-8 in the lane. The
Huskies outrebounded the Black Knights 41-26 and scored 31 points
Hilton Armstrong and Josh Boone each added 10 points for UConn.
Corban Bates scored 10 for Army.
The Huskies have won all 19 home openers under Calhoun, but this
one left room for improvement.
"We just didn't come out ready to play -- bottom line,"
Anderson said. "We didn't defend. That's why the game was so
close. We have to go back and watch film and learn from our