for this game

Adrien powers Connecticut past South Florida

Jan 3, 2007 - 7:23 AM STORRS, Connecticut (Ticker) -- Jeff Adrien and Connecticut bounced back with a vengeance.

Adrien scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead a dominating effort on the boards as No. 14 Connecticut rolled to a 69-50 Big East Conference victory over South Florida.

Limited to a season-low seven points in Saturday's 81-71 loss at West Virginia, Adrien rebounded to post his seventh double-double of the season for the Huskies (12-1, 1-1 Big East).

The 6-6 sophomore sparked UConn to a 38-23 edge on the glass against South Florida, which didn't have an offensive rebound until just past the midway point of the second half.

"Jeff Adrien played terrific basketball," UConn coach Jim Calhoun said. "I'm not going to say he got off his feet, but he played terrific, terrific basketball. We needed to give him more space. We put him at the foul line a lot and put him in different spots to give him more space, to allow him to operate on the things he does well.

"Jeff Adrien was just spectacular."

Freshman guard Jerome Dyson also scored 16 points for UConn, which extended its school-record home winning streak to 31 games.

Dyson and classmate Doug Wiggins sparked the Huskies in the first half. Wiggins scored all nine of his points in the opening 20 minutes and Dyson hit back-to-back 3-pointers for a 31-19 lead with 5:13 to go.

"We started out on the wrong page against West Virginia," Dyson said. "We just didn't come out with the right intensity and playing the way we do every day. I think tonight's win helps everybody get back on the right page."

The Huskies used a 15-0 run bridging halftime to blow the game open, scoring the first 11 points in the second half to double up the Bulls, 50-25, with 15:20 to play.

Craig Austrie hit a 3-pointer to close out the first half and he connected on another shot from the arc to cap the 15-0 spurt.

"I felt real comfortable with my shot," Austrie said. "I just wanted to get it up when I was open."

South Florida (9-6, 0-1), which posted just one conference win last season in its inaugural year in the Big East, was led by Melvin Buckley with 17 points, his ninth straight game scoring in double figures.

"In the last two games we've done just a poor job of defending the 3-point shot, and tonight, again, it sort of reared its ugly head," Bulls coach Robert McCullum said. "They had 7-of-14 ... and that's just too high of a percentage to allow people, especially on the road."

There was one ugly moment in the game when South Florida's Kentrell Gransberry slammed UConn's 7-3 freshman center Hasheem Thabeet to the floor.

Gransberry was called for an intentional foul and Thabeet left the game with 7:41 to play, but he eventually returned to the contest.

    --- --- -----
    SOUTH FLORIDA 25 25 50
    CONNECTICUT (14) 39 30 69 FINAL

    Jan 2 8:57 PM


    Jan 2 7:50 PM