for this game

Adrien, Connecticut overwhelm Coppin State

Dec 28, 2006 - 5:29 AM STORRS, Connecticut (Ticker) -- Connecticut is heading into conference play on a high note.

Jeff Adrien scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as No. 9 UConn throttled Coppin State, 84-41, to complete a perfect 11-game season-opening homestand.

With their first road game looming at Big East Conference rival West Virginia on Saturday, the Huskies (11-0) tuned up by dismantling Coppin State behind Adrien, who posted his eighth double-double of the season.

Freshman Curtis Kelly added 14 points on 7-of-7 shooting for UConn, which won its 30th straight home game against non-league opponents and improved to 122-1 against out-of-conference teams at home in November and December.

"We've played the first 11 games of the season. I can't ask any more of them - they won them all," UConn coach Jim Calhoun said. "Now we'll have 19 times out in the regular season to prove just how good we are or how good we aren't.

"I think we're going to prove we're pretty good when it's all said and done, but we've got places to go and certainly some people to play against. There are some situations we're going to be in that we have to prepare ourselves."

Coppin State was not one of those situations. The Huskies had runs of 12-0 and 13-0 in building a 41-15 halftime lead over the Eagles (2-8), whose woes were typified by leading scorer Twain McKee.

The Freshman of the Year in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference last season, McKee finished 3-of-24 from the field - including 1-10 from 3-point range - and missed all 13 shots in the opening 20 minutes.

"We played pretty good D," Adrien said. "We held their team down to 21 percent (shooting). That might have been the lowest all year. We just grinded it out."

Coppin State's shooting was particularly wretched in the opening half. With McKee clanging away, the Eagles shot just 14 percent (5-of-35).

With 7-3 freshman Hasheem Thabeet pulling down 12 rebounds, the Huskies enjoyed a monstrous 64-33 edge on the boards, but committing 18 turnovers tempered Calhoun's enthusiasm.

"One of our great assets is enthusiasm and speed, and I thought that there were points in the game where we were very fast and other times where we weren't so fast," Calhoun said. "We were very loose with the basketball. When you look at a team like West Virginia, for example, who averages 10 turnovers and forces 22, you can't play like we did at times tonight."

Andy Kennedy scored 12 points - all in the first half - for Coppin State, which is in the midst of a brutal four-game road trip. The Eagles lost at Oklahoma and Alabama prior to this one and finish up at Ohio State on Saturday.

A.J. Price scored five of his 11 points as UConn extended a 16-8 lead to 29-8 with 5:48 left in the half. Back-to-back dunks by Thabeet, who also scored 11, pushed the advantage to 41-13.

"A lot of different guys are talking about the level of competition - they want to play better competition," Adrien said. "Well, we have 19 games the rest of the season where we won't have to complain about that. We'll be getting all the competition we want. Every game will be a fight, and it starts Saturday in West Virginia."

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    COPPIN ST 15 26 41
    CONNECTICUT (9) 41 43 84 FINAL

    Dec 27 8:56 PM

    COPPIN ST 15

    Dec 27 7:48 PM