An upcoming lengthy break for exams appears to be the only thing that can slow down Kemba Walker.
Walker, averaging 29.1 points, is coming off another spectacular performance in a 94-61 rout of Maryland-Baltimore County on Friday. He had 24 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his first career triple-double.
The point total was his lowest since he scored 18 in a season-opening win over Stony Brook. The 13 boards and 10 assists, though, were career highs.
“I love having games like this,” Walker said. “Because my teammates also benefit from it. Those guys’ confidence, it’s hot now.”
After winning the Maui Invitational last month, Connecticut (7-0) seems unlikely to be challenged until Big East play begins Dec. 27 against No. 3 Pittsburgh. After Wednesday’s game, the Huskies do not play again until hosting Coppin State on Dec. 20 and Harvard two days later.
Coach Jim Calhoun earned his 830th victory Friday, moving him into a tie with former Mount St. Mary’s coach Jim Phelan for sixth place on the career list.
“There’s categories that you love being in,” Calhoun said. “I love being in the category of guys who coached an awful lot of games and had a fair amount of success at it.”
Walker’s triple-double was the eighth in UConn history, and first since Hasheem Thabeet had one Jan. 31, 2009, against Providence. Walker has been the catalyst for a Huskies team that was not ranked at the start of the season.
“He’s a terrific basketball player,” Calhoun said. “He’s passing, he’s scoring, he’s doing all kinds of different things, and he is a very good defensive player.”
The junior guard has developed into a leader, with the Huskies starting sophomore center Alex Oriakhi along with three freshmen. Oriakhi is the only other UConn player averaging double figures in points with 12.1.
“We can’t depend on Kemba,” said freshman reserve Niels Giffey, who had 11 points Friday. “I think we showed we can score like a deep team. And that’s what we have to do more often.”
UConn is 53-0 at Gampel Pavilion in November and December heading into its second matchup with Fairleigh Dickinson (3-3). The Huskies won 93-85 in a 1998 first-round NCAA tournament game.
The Knights have won three straight, earning two victories last week to open Northeast Conference play. They shot 60.9 percent after halftime to rally from 12 down at the break in a 48-46 victory over Central Connecticut on Saturday.
Forward Kamil Svrdlik finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
“This is the best effort I have seen us play since I have been at FDU,” coach Greg Vetrone said. “During the second half, we came together as a team.”
FDU has struggled in shooting 3-pointers as well as defending the arc. It ranks last in the Northeast in both categories, shooting 23.0 percent and allowing opponents to make 38.2 percent.