for this game

Dyson helps UConn capture 28th straight home win

Dec 18, 2006 - 12:53 AM HARTFORD, Connecticut (Ticker) -- If Jerome Dyson has learned anything in his brief time at Connecticut, it is to bring your best effort at home.

Dyson scored 19 points and Adrien added 15 as the eighth-ranked Huskies extended their home winning streak to 28 games with an 89-73 victory over St. Mary's.

One of two freshman in a very young starting lineup for Connecticut (9-0), Dyson helped lead an early charge that decided the outcome quickly. The 6-3 guard grabbed a defensive rebound, sprinted down the court and was fouled going up for a layup. He converted both free throws for an 18-12 lead with 12:45 remaining.

"It has a lot to do with me playing football in high school," Dyson said. "I just like to get to the basket. If I can draw a foul, it's good for the team."

Following a layup by the Gaels, fellow freshman Gavin Edwards started a 7-0 run with a follow shot and a dunk that started a 7-0 run. Dyson capped it when he split two free throws, making it, 25-14, with 10:33 left.

Leading, 47-26, at the break, the Huskies shot 52 percent (15-of-29) in the second half to seal the win in their first matchup with the Gaels.

St. Mary's also had a strong second half, scoring 47 points thanks to 49 percent (16-of-33) shooting.

"For the first time this year, we played very, very well in the game, and then became infatuated with our own offense and stopped playing defense," Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said. "That's a credit to Randy's (Gaels coach Randy Bennett) team, who kept running their stuff."

"In the second half, I was really proud of our guys, just competing about every possession and keeping it from being worse than it was," Bennett said.

The team's second-leading scorer at 13.6 points coming in, Dyson shot 6-of-14 from the field. However, he did miss four of 10 free throws, something Calhoun was quick to point out.

"Offensively, I thought Jerome could have made a few foul shots, but he was almost on his way to a 25-point game, which I think he is capable of on most nights he steps on the floor," Calhoun said.

Adrien grabbed eight rebounds and freshman Hasheem Thabeet added six for Connecticut, which held a 44-37 edge on the boards.

Leading scorer A.J. Price had nine points and eight assists and Thabeet scored nine for the Huskies, who will continue their stay at home against Pepperdine on Wednesday.

"A.J. didn't look at his point total, but kept on playing," Calhoun said. "He's really taking good care of the basketball."

"I had a couple of games where I turned it over too much in my opinion," said Price, who finished with just one turnover. "I just wanted to take care of the ball and give my team a chance to score."

Tron Smith scored 15 points and Omar Samhan added 13 for St. Mary's (6-6), which shot 37 percent (26-of-71), including 4-of-14 on 3-pointers.

    --- --- -----
    SAINT MARYS CA 26 47 73
    CONNECTICUT (8) 47 42 89 FINAL

    Dec 17 4:06 PM


    Dec 17 2:57 PM