Price has career high and UConn advances with 82-57 win over Buffalo
STORRS, Conn. (AP)—A.J. Price and Connecticut made sure there would be no chance for an upset on Thursday.
A day after holding off Morgan State 69-65 in the first round of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic and watching Gardner-Webb upend Kentucky, UConn routed Buffalo 82-57 to move into the semifinals.
A.J. Price had a career-high 24 points, and the Huskies (2-0) held the Bulls (1-1) to just 33 percent shooting, while blocking 15 shots.
Stanley Robinson had 10 points, 13 rebounds and six of those blocks.
“When Stanley plays like that, with that kind of intensity, we’re a different basketball team,” UConn coach Jim Calhoun said.
Jeff Adrien added 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
UConn will play Gardner-Webb on Nov. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York. UConn and the Runnin’ Bulldogs will become very familiar with each other this month. They play each other again on Nov. 20 in Hartford.
Connecticut (2-0) trailed by five early, but scored 17 consecutive points, part of a 24-6 run to close out the first half of what had been a back-and-forth game.
Greg Gamble, who had a career-high 25 points in Buffalo’s first-round win over Division II Ohio Valley, had 13 points to lead the Bulls. He was the only Buffalo player in double figures.
The Bulls committed 28 fouls and Connecticut hit 25 of its 37 free throws.
UConn jumped out to an early 8-2 lead Thursday, but the Bulls fought back. A pull-up jumper by Rodney Pierce gave Buffalo a 24-19 lead.
That’s when the Huskies took over. A.J. Price started UConn’s big run with a 23-foot jumper, and the Huskies led 43-30 at the half.
“Everyone did get amped after that shot and we just picked it up from that point on with our defensive intensity,” Price said.
The Huskies went on an 11-4 run after the break, and held Buffalo without a field goal for almost 5 minutes during that stretch.
“They took away probably 12 points, where we got right to the basket and they blocked it,” said Buffalo coach Reggie Witherspoon.
Robinson put the exclamation point on the rout by slamming home a rebound after Jerome Dyson stole the ball and missed a spinning layup. Robinson drew a technical on the play when he finished off the two-handed slam with big leg kicks, but it put the Huskies up 62-41.
His double-double came one night after he was 0-for-4 with five turnovers.
“(Stanley) does everything—rebounds, blocks shots, scores, assists,” Adrien said. “That’s what he did today, and I was really proud of him.”
UConn, which also plays home games at the Hartford Civic Center, is now 112-17 in Gampel Pavilion, and 53-4 against non-conference opponents.