When Jerome Dyson was laying on the court after a tough fall in Connecticut’s last game, there was plenty of concern on the bench.
Dyson, though, has shown to be resilient after beginning this season coming off a more serious injury.
The star senior and the No. 14 Huskies face Harvard on Sunday in the first meeting between the teams in 21 years.
Connecticut (5-1) had little trouble bouncing back from a loss to then-No. 7 Duke last week, beating Boston University 92-64 on Wednesday. The Huskies had five players score in double figures, led by Dyson’s 22 points, and Kemba Walker added 15 points and 10 assists.
Dyson took a spill at the start of the second half and stayed down on the court for several minutes. He would only miss four minutes of playing time, though.
“I knew when I rolled over that nothing was wrong,” he said. “I knew initially that it was my groin area, but when everybody ran out, they thought it was my (knee) again.”
Dyson started 24 games in 2008-09, averaging 13.2 points, before tearing the meniscus in his right knee and missing Connecticut’s final 12 games, including its run to the Final Four.
“It was frightening, no question,” coach Jim Calhoun of the latest scare. “He’s so strong, that’s what saved him. He slipped, did a split and we thought he pulled a groin.”
Calhoun had good reason to be worried when he saw Dyson go down. After losing 7-foot-3 Hasheem Thabeet to the NBA, the Huskies have become a much speedier team with Dyson leading the way. Wednesday was the fourth time he has scored 20 or more points this season and he leads the team with 19.5 per game.
Missing the size it had last season, UConn failed to outrebound the opposition for the third time in five games in the Duke matchup but had a 54-29 advantage on the boards against the Terriers.
“If the opposing team gets the offensive rebound, we know we’re going to be running,” Walker said. “So rebounding’s big for us. That’s probably going to be the key to our season.”
Sunday’s game presents a final tuneup for the Huskies before they host No. 5 Kentucky on Wednesday. The team then breaks for finals until Dec. 20.
Connecticut will be careful to avoid overlooking Harvard (6-1), which won at Boston College last season, upsetting the then-No. 17 Eagles 82-70.
The Crimson are off to their best start since going 8-0 to begin the 1984-85 season. They are looking to win their fourth straight after beating Rice 85-64 on Wednesday.
Harvard shot a season-high 60.8 percent and hit 15 of 20 in the second half. The Crimson led by as many as 25 points and held the opposition below 40 percent from the field for the fifth straight game.
Keith Wright scored 16 points, making eight of his 10 shots. Jeremy Lin, who averages a team-high 16.0 points, had 14 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
Harvard had a season-high 22 assists on 31 field goals, although it also had 21 turnovers. The Crimson average 16.9 turnovers.
Connecticut leads the all-time series against Harvard 12-2, although the teams have not met since the 1988-89 season.
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