By PAT EATON-ROBB, Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Shabazz Napier put up the 10th triple-double in UConn history Monday, leading No. 19 Connecticut to an 80-62 win over in-state rival Yale.
Napier finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for Connecticut (2-0), which dropped one spot in the polls coming off a one-point win over Maryland.
Omar Calhoun had 18 points and Niels Giffey added 15, all of them in the first half. He and Calhoun combined for eight of UConn’s 11 3-pointers.
Ryan Boatright hit two more and finished with 14 points for the Huskies.
Justin Sears led Yale (1-1) with 17 points. Javier Duren added 15.
Giffey hit 3-pointers on four consecutive possessions midway through the first half to give the Huskies control of what had been a tight game early.
The Bulldogs, who came back from a 17-point second-half deficit in their season opener on Saturday, got down by 21 in the second half on Monday.
A 7-0 Yale run cut the Husky lead to 66-55 with 4 minutes left. But a 3-point play by Napier stretched it back out.
UConn held Yale to just 31 percent shooting, while shooting better than 56 percent.
Amida Brimah, Connecticut’s 7-foot freshman center, had seven blocked shots, giving him 10 in two games.
The Huskies started slowly, hitting just three of their first nine shots from the field, and 8 minutes into the game the teams were tied at 9-9.
But 3-pointers from Giffey on four straight possessions launched UConn on a 15-3 run that stretched the lead to 24-12.
Giffey hit his first five shots, all from behind the arc, before being forced to sit with his second foul. Boatright, Phil Nolan and DeAndre Daniels also had two before halftime, many of them as the referees tightly enforced the new rules against hand-checking.
UConn, which had 11 players score on Friday night, played 11 in the first half against Yale. Yale also went to its bench a lot, playing 10 before intermission.
Kentan Facey ,the Huskies highly touted freshman, scored the first points of his UConn career on a pair of foul shots that made the score 37-20. UConn led at halftime 39-24.
A 3-pointer from Calhoun put the Huskies up 46-25, 21/2 minutes into the second half.
This was the 66th meeting between UConn and Yale, who first played in 1914, but had not met in a decade. The Huskies have won 44 of those games, including the past 13 and 28 of the past 30.
The Huskies have not been beaten by another team from Connecticut since Hartford and Yale both beat them in December of 1986, Jim Calhoun’s first season as UConn’s coach.
Connecticut has won its first game of the season at the XL Center for the 26th consecutive season.
Yale rallied to win its opening game against Central Connecticut, coming back from that second-half deficit on Saturday to win by 16.
The Bulldogs travel next to Rutgers for the first time since beating the Scarlet Knights in the 2002 NIT tournament.
UConn hosts Detroit on Thursday.
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