No. 9 Connecticut beats Holy Cross 77-40


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Freshman Andre Drummond scored a season-high 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds as No. 9 Connecticut returned from final exams Sunday with a 77-40 win over Holy Cross, extending the Huskies' home winning streak to 40 games against non-conference opponents.

Alex Oriakhi added 15 points and Shabazz Napier had 13 assists for UConn (9-1), which is 117-4 under Jim Calhoun in home games against non-conference opponents from New England, including 114 wins in the last 115 such games.

R.J. Evans, who played high school basketball in Norwich, had 15 points for the Crusaders (4-7).

Connecticut committed just one foul in the first half and finished with eight.

The Huskies hit just five of their first 15 shots and UConn's first 12 points came from the frontcourt.

Evans kept Holy Cross in the game early with eight points. The game was tied at 13 before Jeremy Lamb's steal and dunk put the Huskies ahead for good.

UConn used an 18-0 run to pull away, highlighted Ryan Boatright's crossover move along the baseline and reverse layup. The Huskies led 43-24 at halftime.

Drummond and Oriaki scored all the points in a 10-4 run that opened the second half and put the game out of reach.

An alley-oop pass from Napier to Drummond gave the Huskies a 59-31 lead. Another after a missed free throw made it 70-36.

UConn was playing for the first time since beating Harvard at home on Dec. 8. Holy Cross hadn't played since a Dec. 9 win over Sacred Heart.

Calhoun is just 4-4 against Holy Cross in his career, which also includes his 14 seasons at Northeastern. The Huskies and the Crusaders were playing for the first time since 1988.

Holy Cross still leads the all-time series between the schools 20-13, but has now lost five straight to the Huskies in a rivalry that dates to 1908.

Connecticut assistant coach George Blaney, who played at Holy Cross and coached the Crusaders for 22 seasons, was facing his alma mater for the first time since joining UConn 11 seasons ago.