A 26-6 run to open the second half powered UConn to a 84-50 blowout victory over Maryland Eastern Shore Monday night at the XL Center.
The Huskies move to 8-2 while Maryland Eastern Shore drops to 0-10.
STAR OF THE GAME: Ryan Boatright went off for a season-high 21 points, which included five 3-pointers and one monster dunk on a fastbreak, opening up a 65-33 lead over the lowly Hawks.
KEY TO THE WIN: The 3-point line proved to be UConn's friend once again. The backcourt trio of Boatright, Shabazz Napier and Omar Calhoun canned its first eight 3-point attempts. Calhoun, a 6-foot-5 freshman, finished with a career-high 22.
The Huskies held a pregame moment of silence for the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting. The players and cheerleaders -- holding candles -- stood in a circle around the midcourt logo as the XL Center honored the victims. Each UConn player had "SH" embroidered on their jerseys, and Boatright
wore the initials of the school on his left cheek.
Shabazz Napier, who has endured several long scoreless stretches this season, did not attempt a field goal until 7:40 remained in the first half. His shot--a straightaway 3-pointer--gave UConn a 24-14 advantage, its first double-digit lead. Operating the point more than usual, Napier dished out eight assists and needed just four field goals attempts to score 11 points.
The advantage on the boards went to Maryland Eastern Shore, 30-26. Tyler Olander was held scoreless and without a single rebound in 12 minutes.
R.J. Evans did not play. A redshirt senior, Evans suffered a sternalclavicular sprain during a Thanksgiving Day practice. After missing two games, he returned for a Dec. 4 clash with N.C. State, but only managed seven minutes versus Harvard last Friday. It's possible the injury is still bothering him, which would explain the DNP.
Up Next: vs. Fordham, Dec. 22 (7 p.m., XL Center)