Huskies take on Cougars in Puerto Rico Tip-Off

Nov 20, 2014 - 3:36 PM San Juan, PR ( - In their second game of the season, the 17th-ranked Connecticut Huskies take on the College of Charleston Cougars in the opening round of the 2014 Puerto Rico Tip-Off at Coliseo Roberto Clemente.

The College of Charleston has been in action twice already on the young season, first claiming a 75-40 at Furman last Friday, but then falling at home to Gardner-Webb, 80-67, on Monday.

It was not the most impressive start to the season for the defending national champions, but UConn managed to escape with a 66-53 win over Bryant last Friday in its season opener.

The winner of this contest moves on in the tournament to face the winner of the Texas A&M/Dayton matchup, with the loser of each contest also squaring off.

With wins of 77-60 in 1995 and 68-52 in 1990, UConn has a 2-0 edge in the all- time series with Charleston.

Charleston hung with Gardner-Webb in the first half, but couldn't keep up after the break. The Cougars shot 39.3 percent from the field leading up to intermission, but dipped to 38.7 percent after. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs improved to 53.6 percent shooting over the final 20 minutes to pull away for the win. The Cougars also suffered a 46-40 disadvantage in rebounds.

Joe Chealey scored 17 points to lead the way in the loss, while Adjehi Baru (10 points, 12 rebounds) and Donovan Gilmore (10 points, 11 rebounds) each posted double-doubles. Anthony Stitt got in on the action as well, netting 12 points. Terrance O'Donohue did not score a single point, despite starting the game, and was one of three players to foul out. Stitt (15.5 ppg) has been the most consistent scorer in a small sample size, while Baru (13 ppg, 10 rpg), Chealey (11 ppg) and Gilmore (11 ppg) are all averaging double figures as well.

Replacing Shabazz Napier was the biggest priority for UConn coming into this season. It appears that Ryan Boatright, who was an instrumental part of last season's national title run as Napier's backcourt mate, is ready to take on that responsibility. Boatright netted 24 points, grabbed eight rebounds, handed out four assists and tallied four steals to carry UConn past Bryant. Boatright was especially impressive in the second half when he scored 16 points, while helping the Huskies improve to 63.6 percent shooting. They had only made 34.4 percent of their field goal tries in the opening frame.

Outside of Boatright, the rest of the team had some issues, but like most good teams, the Huskies found a way to win. Amida Brimah scored 12 points and blocked five shots, Sam Cassell Jr. netted 10 points in his first game as a Husky, and Daniel Hamilton finished with nine points and seven rebounds in his collegiate debut, although he made only 4-of-10 shots from the field.

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