Connecticut downs Coppin State
Hartford, CT (Sports Network) - Kemba Walker scored a game-high 20 points to lead fourth-ranked Connecticut in a 76-64 victory over Coppin State at the XL Center.
Jeremy Lamb added 16 points for the Huskies (9-0), who remained undefeated after doubling the Eagles' rebounding total, 58-29. Alex Oriakhi contributed 12 points, while Charles Okwandu had nine points in the victory.
"I expected us to be a little rusty coming off the break," UConn head coach Jim Calhoun said of his team, which hadn't played since December 8. "But I didn't expect us to dominate the glass as well as we did."
Akeem Ellis had 19 points to lead Coppin State (4-4), which had won four of its last five games. Tony Gallo posted 17 points, and Michael Harper had 13 in defeat.
"I told (my team) it was going to be a tough one," said Eagles head coach Fang Mitchell. "I told them it was going to be physical. I think they didn't recognize what that meant until they played hard."
UConn built a big lead in the first half and made it last the rest of the way.
Ahead by four, 19-15, the Huskies went on an impressive 19-0 run that all but sealed the outcome.
Walker started the burst with a three to give him nine straight Connecticut points at that particular spot in the game, and Lamb's three-point play increased the lead to 10 with 9 1/2 minutes left.
Walker later hit a trio of free throws with under six minutes remaining, and an Oriakhi layup with 2:22 left made it a 38-15 contest.
The Eagles got to within 38-21 at halftime, but the deficit was too large to overcome.
UConn began the second half with nine straight points, extending its lead to 47-21 following a Lamb dunk two minutes in. Coppin State reduced the margin to 10 with six minutes remaining in the game, but never got any closer, as Lamb and Oriakhi quelled the comeback effort with a basket apiece to make it 70-56 with 4:36 to play.
UConn has won all four meetings, although this was the closest final score...Coppin State fell to 0-3 on the road, while the Huskies improved to 6-0 at home...UConn won despite a poor 3-for-16 shooting effort from three- point range. Coppin State was 11-for-27.
12/20 23:53:59 ET