Yale-UConn Preview

The Associated Press

Connecticut's lengthy win streak over state opponents nearly ended in Kevin Ollie's first such contest last season.

Ollie will hope things go smoother when the 19th-ranked Huskies try to extend that run to 68 games Monday when they host Yale at Hartford.

Connecticut (1-0) has won 67 consecutive games against state foes. The last time a Connecticut-based school defeated the Huskies was Hartford's 49-48 victory Dec. 29, 1986, in Jim Calhoun's first season as coach.

The same fate nearly befell Ollie in his first season succeeding Calhoun, but the Huskies rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final five minutes of regulation for a 93-89 win in double overtime over Quinnipiac in the Paradise Jam on Nov. 18, 2012.

The Huskies have won 12 straight meetings with Yale (1-0) as these teams match up for the first time since the 2003-04 season opener. UConn rallied from a three-point halftime deficit for a 70-60 victory in a season in which it went on to win the NCAA tournament.

Ollie's second club opened by holding on for a 78-77 victory over Maryland on Friday despite nearly blowing a 17-point second-half lead. Shabazz Napier led the way with 18 points as the Huskies shot 51.7 percent.

Napier, however, was called for a technical foul for taunting that triggered a big run by the Terrapins. The senior guard fouled out late as the Huskies survived.

''We learned we can dig down deep and pull it out no matter what,'' Napier said.

DeAndre Daniels blocked three shots to match the total in 15 minutes by reserve teammate Amida Brimah, a 7-foot freshman from Ghana. Brimah also had five points and three rebounds in his debut.

''He's going to be a force,'' Ollie said. ''The kid is going to be great if he keeps that passion about the game. He loves the game. You don't see a lot of people with that love for the game.''

Brimah's effort was part of a bench that produced 31 points on 12-of-14 shooting. Senior forward Niels Giffey had 13 points to lead that group.

Yale used a 53-point second half to post a 93-77 win at Central Connecticut State in its opener Saturday. The Bulldogs trailed 63-46 with 14:12 remaining before outscoring the Blue Devils 47-14 over the remainder of the contest.

Justin Sears had career highs of 26 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks.

"At the start of the second half, it seemed like we were trying to get it all back in one possession," coach James Jones told Yale's official website. "Justin really turned it around by chasing (the ball) on the glass."

This figures to be a special game for the Bulldogs' two Connecticut natives. Isaiah Salafia is from Cromwell and attended Calhoun's basketball camp while Brandon Sherrod is from Bridgeport and played against the Huskies' freshmen this summer.

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