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Adrien, Thabeet too tough inside for Stony Brook

Dec 16, 2008 - 5:27 AM HARTFORD, Connecticut (Ticker) -- Jeff Adrien and Hasheem Thabeet put their size to good use.

Adrien and Thabeet both scored 18 points as second-ranked Connecticut flexed its inside muscle in a 91-57 victory over Stony Brook on Monday.

Jerome Dyson scored 16 points and A.J. Price and Craig Austrie added 13 each for the Huskies, who started a season 9-0 for the third time in four seasons.

A big reason for another stellar start by Connecticut is the inside might of Adrien and Thabeet, who combined to shoot 13-of-15 from the field and grab 19 rebounds.

"UConn's terrific. We've actually been a good defensive team," Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell said. "We didn't do that tonight. They're good. They're bigger than us. They played well today."

The Huskies turned inside right from the start against the overmatched Seawolves, as Adrien had eight points and Thabeet four en route to a 16-9 lead inside the opening 6 1/2 minutes.

The inside duo both ended up with 12 points in the first half as UConn took a 44-30 lead at the break. Besides their strength in the paint, the Huskies did a good job running the court in the opening 20 minutes, holding a 16-0 advantage in fast-break points.

"I think Steve did a nice job with his team, especially to get it back to 14 at halftime," Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said. "Obviously, we had size and some athletic ability."

UConn continued to pull away with a 12-0 run in the middle of the second half, taking a 73-43 lead on a 3-pointer by Austrie with 10:10 to play.

Adrien finished a perfect 8-of-8 from the field and grabbed 10 rebounds for his 36th career double-double.

Thabeet went 5-of-7 from the floor, converted 8-of-10 free throws and pulled down nine boards.

Dyson also had eight rebounds for UConn, which finished up with a 43-21 advantage on the glass.

Lost in the big efforts by Adrien and Thabeet was the return of Stanley Robinson from a suspension for the fall semester. The junior, who spent the past couple of months working at a nearby scrap company, scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds in 16 minutes.

"I felt comfortable out there," Robinson said. "The crowd welcomed me with a great welcome. I felt good about everything."

Robinson also had two of the eight blocks for the Huskies.

"I thought he was spectacular," Calhoun said. "I don't know how you do what he did. Basically not touch an organized basketball since May, practice one day. The guy had one day of practice. It did show that we looked more versatile with him out there, and looked bigger, which we haven't at times."

Last season, the 6-9 Robinson was a starter, averaging 10.4 points and 6.5 rebounds in 33 games.

Playing for the first time in 10 days due to finals, UConn will have a huge matchup in its next game, traveling to Seattle on Saturday to face No. 7 Gonzaga.

"We've been waiting for this game since last year because we lost in Boston," Adrien said. "We're going to go out there, and we're going to fight. We're going to be ready."

Danny Carter scored 20 points for Stony Brook (5-5), which dropped its second straight game after a four-game winning streak.

Bryan Dougher added 10 points and Jonathan Moore eight for the Seawolves, who shot 32 percent (22-of-68).