No. 11 Connecticut beats Iona 93-74Dec 27, 2009 - 10:58 PM By PAT EATON-ROBB Associated Press Writer
HARTFORD, Conn.(AP) -- UConn's Stanley Robinson put on a show for his two young daughters during their first visit to Connecticut.
The senior forward scored a season-high 29 points and Jerome Dyson added 17 as the Huskies beat Iona 93-74 on Sunday in a final tuneup before they begin Big East play.
"I think I like playing better when my family is here," Robinson said.
Kemba Walker had 14 points and seven assists, and freshman Jamal Coombs-McDaniel chipped in with a career-high 13 points.
No. 11 UConn (9-2) opened up a 14-point lead at intermission after struggling in the first half against its last two non-conference opponents.
"We really got some energy going in the first half," said Dyson, who had 13 points at the break. "We gave up too many 3s, but we really kept them out of the paint in the first half."
Scott Machado had 14 for Iona (8-5), which had won four in a row, including an 82-73 victory at Providence. Rashon Dwight and Rashard McGill each added 12, and Jonathan Huffman had 10 for the Gaels.
"They did a good job of containing our penetration early, and then we could never get into the bonus," said Iona coach Kevin Willard. "It's tough when a team shoots 35 free throws and you shoot 10. You have no chance - road, home, neutral, Mars."
With 4-year-old Kamilah and 2-year-old Kelsi in the stands, Robinson scored 19 in the second half, including an alley-oop dunk off a pass from Dyson with 3 minutes left that gave UConn its only 20-point lead of the game at 91-70.
That was perhaps the highlight of the day for Robinson, but probably not for the girls, who are on a holiday visit from their home in Alabama.
"We've spent a lot of time playing in the snow," Robinson said. "They liked that."
Iona opened in a pressing defense, but UConn had no problems breaking it, running out to a 13-6 lead, punctuated when Dyson went end-to-end, finishing with a tomahawk dunk and a free throw.
After Walker used a crossover move to free himself for a driving layup, it was 21-12.
Iona got within four points, but UConn ran back out to a 45-31 lead at halftime. Dyson had 13 points at the break.
The Huskies were tied with Maine going into the second half last Tuesday before pulling away. In a 60-51 victory over Central Florida two days earlier, they trailed by five at the break.
Connecticut opens its Big East slate Wednesday at Cincinnati.
"We're putting new parts and pieces together as we go along," UConn coach Jim Calhoun said. "I think we're getting better."
The Gaels, who haven't won five in a row since January 2006, were coming off an 82-60 win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Wednesday. Twelve Iona players saw action in this one.
The Huskies are now 3-1 against the Gaels, winning 105-54 in 2003. Iona's only victory was in 1984.
UConn has won 143 of its last 144 home games against non-league competition before the New Year, going 92-1 in Hartford's XL Center.
Iona has lost six straight against nationally ranked opponents since beating Iowa State an 89-72 four years ago.
- NCAA BB
CONNECTICUT (11) 93 FINAL
Dec 27 3:59 PM
- NCAA BB
CONNECTICUT (11) 45 HALFTIME
Dec 27 2:51 PM
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