Edwards helps UConn roll in rematch with AlbanyNov 27, 2006 - 12:49 AM STORRS, Connecticut (Ticker) -- Gavin Edwards showed that his freshman class was not going to overlook Albany.
Edwards scored a season-high 16 points and fellow first-year players Jerome Dyson and Hasheem Thabeet added 12 each as No. 18 Connecticut posted an 86-55 victory over the Great Danes.
The Huskies (5-0), who extended their home winning streak to 24 games, were playing the Great Danes for the first time since a surprisingly close meeting in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last season.
A top seed, Connecticut trailed by 12 points with 11:34 remaining before rallying for a 72-59 victory on March 17.
"This team is entirely different than the team that played them last year," Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said. "They may be different, but they still have some of the same players."
Despite the Huskies' loss of four players that went on to be NBA first-round picks, Albany coach Will Brown knew his team was still in for a challenge.
"We knew we had our hands full coming into this game," he said. "We were concerned, obviously, about attacking them and trying to drag (7-footer) Thabeet away from the basket."
One member of a talented freshman class, Edwards took Albany seriously from the start, making his first four shots off the bench en route to 10 points in the first half. He finished 6-of-6 from the field with five rebounds.
Prior to this game, Edwards had just one point in 17 minutes spanning four games.
"You couldn't have asked for better medicine for him," Calhoun said about Edwards' performance. "Gavin has taken on a lot more assertiveness on offense. He is a very good defensive player, he's a very smart player."
"I was feeling pretty good today in shootaround, so I think that was a pretty good indicator for me," Edwards said. "It's so important because it lets me know that coach can count on me if I can come off the bench and produce."
Sophomore swingman Marcus Johnson added 11 of his 14 points in the opening 20 minutes as the Huskies held a 47-31 advantage.
Connecticut maintained its effort in the second half, pulling ahead, 63-42, on a jumper by Jeff Adrien with 10:22 remaining.
A.J. Price scored 13 points and Adrien added 11 and seven rebounds for the Huskies, who had all five starters in double figures and held a 46-20 advantage in points in the paint.
Jamar Wilson, who had 19 points in the NCAA matchup last season, scored 18 points Sunday but also committed eight of Albany's 21 turnovers.
Those miscues fed Connecticut early as the Big East squad turned 11 first-half turnovers into 20 points. Conversely, Albany had just two points off 10 giveaways in the opening 20 minutes.
"Obviously we lost that game in the first half," Brown said. "I think the biggest difference, if you look at the stats, is points off of turnovers - UConn 20, Albany 2. I think that says it all in a nutshell."
Jason Siggers added 16 points and seven boards for the Great Danes (2-2), who shot 35 percent (19-of-54).
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