Hartford, CT – The fourth-ranked Connecticut Huskies continue opening four-game homestand this evening, as the take on the Maine conference action from the XL Center.
The defending national champions bring the nation's longest win streak into this contest, improving that mark to 13-0 with wins over Columbia (70-57) and most recently, Wagner (78-66). In addition to the current 13-game streak, the Huskies also put a 35-game non-conference home win streak on the line.
The Black Bears were .500 last season at 15-15, including a 9-7 mark in the America East Conference. Head coach Ted Woodward, an assistant under Jim Calhoun at UConn in the late '80s, hopes his team can take a step in the right direction in 2011-12. Maine opened the season with an impressive 113-49 whipping of Maine-Machias.
This marks the 98th meeting between these two New England rivals. UConn holds an 81-16 series advantage and has won the last 10 meetings.
The Black Bears went on a 20-3 run to open up the game and never looked back in a rout of Maine-Machias. Freshman Justin Edwards certainly had a strong debut, as he led the way with a near double-double, scoring 24 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Four others finished in double figures, including Gerald McLemore's 21 points. Alasdair Fraser poured in 19 points, followed by Kilian Cato and Zarko Valjarevic, with 14 and 13 points, respectively. The Black Bears shot a ridiculous 73.5 percent from the field in the first half and 69.8 percent overall. Maine also forced 17 turnovers which turned into 30 points, and doled out a whopping 28 assists.
After scoring 30 points in the season-opener, All-American candidate Jeremy Lamb netted 20 on Monday against Wagner. Fellow guard Shabazz Napier actually led the team in the scoring column on Monday with 21 points, going 6-of-10 from the floor an 7-of-9 from the free-throw line. DeAndre Daniels chipped in with 11 points to round out the top scoring threats, as UConn shot 44.7 percent from the floor overall. With perimeter players like Lamb and Napier and post players like Alex Oriakhi and freshman Andre Drummond (6-10, 270), the Huskies have enough talent to once again be a factor come March.