From start to finish it was a sloppy game on both sides, but Stamford was able to regroup at the half to come away with a conference road win.

The Knights rebounded from a two-point halftime deficit to steal a 72-62 win at Warde on Wednesday.

"The main adjustment we had to make was to play with more energy," Stamford coach Danny Melzer said. "I think we have a tendency to take teams lightly, to win on the road in this league against any team is a difficult thing to do."

Melzer turned to his senior leaders in the second half, with Gianni Carwin (17 points) and Kwe Askew (24 points) taking the reins both on and off the court.

"Me and Gianni have been doing this for four years," said Askew, who was just offered a scholarship from LIU Brooklyn. "We know this is our team so, as you saw, we had no energy in the first half, so we had to psych these guys up and get them motivated in the second half."

Early on Warde's zone posed plenty of problems for the Black Knights (9-3, 7-3), the Mustangs got their hands in the passing lanes to create turnovers, but Warde couldn't convert as much as coach Ryan Swaller would have liked.

"We worked on it a lot Sunday," Swaller said of the zone. "It worked in the first half and I think we could have been even more successful scoring. We needed to get a bigger lead, bobbling the ball and unforced turnovers which you can't have at this level killed us."

Those missed opportunities were costly for Warde (3-9, 3-7) in the second half when Stamford made its run; the key for the Knights was getting the ball inside and getting paint touches against the undersized Mustangs.

"It was big," Askew said of the inside game. "They really didn't have size and that's what coach emphasized before the game and at half time. We wanted to get the ball inside and that's how we dominated in the second half and eventually won the game."

Warde was able to bring the game within five points late in the third, but those unforced errors cost it a chance to get over the deficit.

"We had the opportunity," Swaller said of getting back within five. "But it took us so much to get back to that and you have to play almost flawlessly against them at that point because they have so much size and skill."

That size, skill, pressure and leadership was what ultimately turned the game around for Stamford, and despite the poor play by both sides throughout, the Knights were just happy to get out of Fairfield with the win.

"It feels good," Askew said of the victory. "It wasn't the prettiest game, but a `W' is a `W,' whether you win by one point or 20 points."

aparelli@bcnnew.com @reportedbytheAP

Stamford 72, Warde 62

STAMFORD (9-3, 7-3)

Jay Devito 2 5-6 9 Whens Dester 1 0-0 3 Kwe Askew 11 2-3 24 Gianni Carwin 7 3-8 17 Rich Benoit 1 0-2 2 Steffan Harding 1 0-0 2 Malik Clayborne 7 0-4 15. Totals 30 10-23 72.

FAIRFIELD WARDE (3-9, 3-7)

Kavon Polk 1 0-0 2 Chris Smaldone 6 5-5 19 Antonio Brancato 1 0-0 2 JJ Conway 2 2-3 7 Marcel Parsons 5 7-11 18 Jackson Longley 4 1-2 10 Malcolm Brune 1 0-0 2 Mark Schwartz 1 0-0 2. Totals: 21 15-21 62.

STAMFORD 8 18 22 24--72

WARDE 13 15 11 23--62

3-pointers: S--Desther; FW--Smaldone 2, Conway, Parsons, Longley.