Storrs, CT – Shabazz Napier netted all 13 of his points in the second half on Tuesday as No. 23 Connecticut took care of business with a 67-49 victory over Vermont at Gampel Pavilion.
With former coach Jim Calhoun watching from the stands, another Calhoun, freshman guard Omar Calhoun, tallied 12 points, while fellow freshman R.J. Evans added 11 points in Kevin Ollie's first home victory as head coach.
Sophomore Ryan Boatright contributed nine points, while Tyler Olander added nine points and nine boards for UConn (2-0), which has not lost a home opener at Gampel Pavilion since it opened in 1990.
"The guys played hard. It was a grind-it-out game," Ollie said. "I thought our balance was good. We didn't have a guy that had 25 points, but that shows that we can win in different ways. All in all, I was happy with the guys��� performance.
Luke Apfeld paced the Catamounts (1-1) with nine points and eight rebounds, while four other Vermont players added eight points in the setback.
Vermont kept it close through the first eight-plus minutes of the first half, trailing 13-12, but a layup by Phillip Nolan ignited the Huskies on a 12-3 surge, and Calhoun capped it with a deep three, putting the home side ahead, 25-15 with 6:32 left in the half.
UConn maintained a comfortable advantage for the remainder of the period and led by nine heading into the second 20 minutes of play.
A jumper by Apfeld early in the second frame cut the deficit to 37-29, but the Huskies responded with a quick 8-0 run to extend the lead to 45-29 with 13:32 on the clock.
A run out jam by DeAndre Daniels with 9:39 remaining pushed the cushion to 20 for UConn, and Vermont never threatened the rest of the way.
"Another tough offensive night for us," Vermont coach John Becker said. "But more disappointing was in the second half defensively we had some slippage as far as what we wanted to do. Credit UConn. They're a great team."
UConn owns a commanding 47-8 lead in the all-time series with Vermont ... The Huskies shot 44.6 percent from the floor, while holding Vermont to 30 percent from the field and just 3-of-18 from beyond the arc ... The Huskies will play Wake Forest on Friday as part of the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam, while Vermont will visit Northeastern on Saturday ... Vermont turned the ball over 16 times to just eight for UConn.