After a sluggish start in its last game, Connecticut likely will not overlook visiting Delaware State on Monday night at Gampel Pavilion.
The second-ranked Huskies (6-0) posted an 88-58 victory against Bryant on Saturday—a game they trailed 15-14 with 12:22 left in the first half before regrouping.
“I felt like we came out flat,” said senior guard Craig Austrie, who hit two 3-pointers and scored 15 points. “It happens to the best of them. But the good thing is that we turned it around and stomped on them.”
Hasheem Thabeet scored 16 points as all five Huskies starters reached double figures. It was the first game they accomplished the feat since a 98-92 overtime victory against Washington in the NCAA Tournament on March 24, 2006.
Thabeet, last season’s National Defensive Player of the Year, added 12 rebounds and three blocks as he posted his third double-double of the season and 12th of his career.
“I’m getting better every day,” said Thabeet, who is averaging 14.2 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.2 blocks. “They didn’t have a lot of size over there, so we took advantage of that to go my way.”
The 7-foot-3 junior could have another big game as Delaware State has no one on its roster taller than 6-7. Hornets forward Arturo Dubois, though, is coming off a 13-point, career-high 21-rebound effort on Saturday.
Connecticut forward Jeff Adrien, who is pulling down 10.0 boards per game, had 14 points and nine rebounds against Bryant as the Huskies outrebounded the Bulldogs 48-27.
Through six games, Connecticut has averaged 40.8 rebounds—10.1 more per game than its opponents—while Delaware State has grabbed 32.0 boards per game.
While Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun looks for career win No. 781 and sole possession of eighth place on the all-time list, Delaware State (1-8) looks to upset the Huskies in the final stop of its eight-game, 15-day road trip. But that is asking a lot as Connecticut is 56-4 all-time at Gampel Pavilion versus non-conference opponents.
Delaware State, which hasn’t played at home since losing to Cheyney 67-64 on Nov. 15, dropped its eighth straight game on Saturday, 69-65 to Longwood at the Las Vegas Invitational.
Junior forward Frisco Sandidge had a career-high 21 points and pulled down seven rebounds versus the Lancers.
“We saw a lot of improvement today, especially from the guys down low,” Hornets coach Greg Jackson told the school’s official Web site. “What is hurting us now, more than anything, is our guard play. We are not getting the consistent play out of our guards.”
Senior guard Donald Johnson hit 3-of-7 from 3-point range and scored 15, but guards Marcus Neal and Trevor Welcher hit a combined 18.8 percent (3-of-16) from the field while scoring nine total points and committing five turnovers.
This is the first meeting between Connecticut and Delaware State, which has lost 14 straight to Top 25 teams since the start of the 1996-97 season.