Thursday, December 03, 2009



HARTFORD--The sight was alarmingly familiar, and that's what made it all the more frightening for the Connecticut Huskies.

Jerome Dyson, the Huskies' best player--Jim Calhoun's description after the Huskies' 92-64 blowout of Boston University--landed awkwardly during the opening moments of the second half.

"I'm not going to lie, I was a little nervous seeing that," said UConn forward Gavin Edwards, who scored 12 points and ripped down nine rebounds.

Dyson stayed down for a few minutes, and it was tremendously similar to the scene that played out last February against Syracuse.

That's when Dyson, who's averaging over 20 points to lead the No.13-ranked Huskies, knocked knees with Syracuse's then-forward Kristof Ongeneat.

An MRI later revealed Dyson had a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee, an injury which sidelined him for the season.

"We were just hoping 'rome would come back," said point guard Kemba Walker of the tense few minutes when Dyson was down on the floor.

"We can't afford that (loss) this season. Everybody was just praying that he would come back."

That Dyson did, emerging from the bench four minutes later to a standing ovation at the XL Center.

"I knew when I rolled over that nothing was wrong," Dyson said.

"I knew initially that it was my groin area, but when everybody ran out, they thought it was my (knee) again."

Dyson was dominant Wednesday night, scoring 22 points and dishing out four assists as the Huskies (5-1) overcame a sloppy start.

Dyson scored the rock in a variety of ways. He was burying mid-range jumpers, knifing to the basket, and hitting from beyond the arc.

After shooting 3-for-9 from the free throw line in a nightmare of a performance during a loss to Duke, Dyson bounced back. He knocked down all but two of his nine free throws.

The UConn backcourt bludgeoned the injury-plagued Terriers, who were forced to play with just six scholarship players.

The Terriers (2-6) were without star guard Corey Lowe (inflammation in the right knee) and 6-foot-9 forward Scott Brittain (concussion).

Walker scored 15 points and doled out a career-high 10 assists.

The New York City native was also impressive defensively, with three steals. He ran the show, setting up fast breaks. Walker got just about everyone open looks, including freshman Jamal Coombs-McDaniel (12 points, 7 rebounds in 20 minutes).

"Kemba clearly could have had 15-16 assists if some of the big guys didn't drop the ball," said Calhoun.

Calhoun was most impressed with the Huskies' work on the glass. The Huskies outrebounded the undermanned Terriers to the tune of 54-29.

"When you beat a team on the backboard by 25, that's a significant number," said Calhoun.

"I think the stat sheet is starting to look a little more normal for us. I do understand that BU was down a couple players. But you know what, we played an 0-6 Colgate team and certainly didn't put up the kind of numbers we did tonight."

Edwards, Stanley Robinson, and hulking freshman Alex Oriakhi each tore down nine boards apiece.

Edwards said that with the Huskies' notably thin frontline (6-10 freshman Ater Majok is eligible in just under three weeks) and the results from the first five games, UConn made a concentrated effort to hit the boards harder.

"Every UConn team has been known for being able to rebound and then get out on the fast break and we haven't really been doing that," Edwards said.

The high-flying Robinson, who scored 16 points, was having a quiet night until he erupted for four gravity-defying dunks in the second half.

His eye-popping alley-oop slam from Walker's lob kick-started a 10-2 surge that gave UConn an insurmountable 68-39 lead.

A washout ensued.

The Huskies reeled off a 10-1 run to seize a 25-16 lead early on.

Walker buried a trey to kick-start the run. BU forward John Holland, who had a game-high 23 points, thwarted the spurt with a layup.

Early on, it looked as if UConn was going to put together another lackluster performance at home.

BU guard Tyler Morris, a three-point sniper who played at Indiana powerhouse Lawrence North HS (see Oden, Greg or Conley, Mike, or Louisville-commits for more on Lawrence North) nailed a trey and a jumper on back-to-back possessions, giving the Terriers an 8-7 edge 4:42 into the game.

The Terriers, or the walking wounded, seized an 11-9 lead on a four-point play from Holland.

The Huskies continued to trail, 13-9, before Robinson crushed home a two-handed dunk plus the foul at 12:19. This lit a fire underneath the Huskies.

One way or the other, Dyson was the story Wednesday.

"When he feels it, he's just so tough," said Calhoun of the Huskies' top dog.

"If he pulled a groin, it would have been some time. Certainly he would have missed a few games or may have been out 2-3 weeks. The way he's playing and starting our season, we can't afford that."



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