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No. 9 UConn downs St. John's

Dec 31, 2011 - 11:02 PM Hartford, CT (Sports Network) - Shabazz Napier scored 17 points and added nine assists, as No. 9 Connecticut downed St. John's, 83-69, on Saturday.

Andre Drummond added 16 points and 11 rebounds, Jeremy Lamb had 15 points and Ryan Boatright chipped in 10 for the Huskies (12-1, 2-0 Big East), who have started 2-0 in Big East play for the first time since the 2003-04 season. Head coach Jim Calhoun has missed both of those wins while serving a three-game suspension due to recruiting violations.

"It's a big accomplishment, but not too big though," Lamb said of the team's start. " We still have a long Big East season."

D'Angelo Harrison scored 17 points in defeat, while Moe Harkless and God'sgift Achiuwa both finished with 16. Sir'Dominic Pointer added 14 points and eight rebounds, as the Red Storm (7-6, 1-1) saw their three-game win streak come to an end. Their head coach, Steve Lavin, was also absent Saturday as he continues to recover from prostate cancer surgery.

The Huskies have won seven straight since an early-season loss to UCF and have not been slowed by Calhoun's suspension. They downed South Florida, 60-57, in Wednesday's Big East opener and carried that momentum into Saturday.

St. John's was coming off a 91-67 win over Providence, but struggled to generate points against UConn. The Red Storm went just 1-of-13 from three- point range in the opening half, compared to a 5-of-12 effort from the Huskies, who took a 38-25 lead into the break.

"I thought UConn did a good job in particular with their ones, twos and threes, or their perimeter people," said St. John's acting head coach Mike Dunlap. "I thought they used their advantage there."

The lead ballooned to 23 with over seven minutes left in regulation. The Red Storm responded with a 14-2 run, making it 72-61 on Pointer's put-back dunk with 2:28 remaining, but they would get no closer.

In all, Connecticut shot 60.4 percent from the field and hit 9-of-16 three- pointers. In contrast, St. John's hit 36.2 percent of its shots, including just four threes on 24 attempts. The Red Storm have yet to win a road contest this season, going 0-3 in true road games and 0-2 in neutral site games.

Game Notes

Associate head coach George Blaney guided the Huskies in Calhoun's stead, while Dunlap guided the Red Storm....Calhoun will miss Tuesday's game at Seton Hall before returning to the bench January 7 at Rutgers...UConn halted a two-game skid to St. John's, although the Red Storm leads the all- time series, 34-28.