Hamilton leads UConn over Central Connecticut 99-52
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Daniel Hamilton posted the 11th triple-double in UConn history as the Huskies rolled to a 99-52 victory over Central Connecticut State Wednesday afternoon at the XL Center.
The 6-foot-7 sophomore finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists to become the 10th player in school history to accomplish the feat. Former UConn guard Shabazz Napier, who now plays for the Orlando Magic, is the lone Husky to do it twice.
“He’s just a marvelous offensive player,” UConn coach Kevin Ollie said. “The ball in his hands, he’s magical. I want him more aggressive, but I also want him to be aggressive when he sees a double team and get it to his teammates. He does that natural and that’s something a coach can’t teach him.”
Shonn Miller added a team-high 25 points to lead the Huskies (8-3), who played their second straight game without 7-foot center Amida Brimah. They head into the holiday break on a three-game win streak.
“I think the last time I had a triple-double was high school - eleventh grade,” said Hamilton, who has four double-doubles on the season and nine for his career.
Rodney Purvis added 16 points, Sterling Gibbs 12 and Kentan Facey finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds for his second career double-double. UConn shot over 60 percent from the field for the third straight time, finishing at 60.3 (38-for-63).
UConn played with a short bench minus Brimah (broken finger) and reserve guard Sam Cassell Jr. (sprained ankle). Brimah sat out Sunday’s win over UMass-Lowell with a testicular contusion, but returned to practice Monday where he broke his right middle finger. Brimah was scheduled to have surgery Wednesday afternoon, but due to a complication will have it Thursday. He is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks.
“Amida has been covering us the whole year and now it’s our time to cover him while he’s out,” Ollie said. “We have to make sure we continue to play and play hard until he comes back.”
The Blue Devils (1-9) took advantage of Brimah, who ranks ninth in the nation with 3.0 blocks per game, being out in the first half. CCSU used a 15-6 run to pull within five, 30-25, with 4:46 to go in the first half.
“We knew different people had to step up in different ways, whether it’s offensively or defensively, running the floor in transition,” Miller said. “Everybody had to step up.”
UConn answered with a 16-1 run to close the half. Miller scored 14 points and the Huskies shot 58 percent from the field to grab a 46-26 lead. They also scored 15 points off 10 CCSU turnovers.
Miller stayed hot to open the second half and helped UConn pull away with an 18-8 opening run to lead 64-34 with 13:52 to play.
The fifth-year senior Miller sat the final 13:10 as UConn went to the bench.
Hamilton reached 10 assists and 10 rebounds early in the second half, but had only two points. He quickly caught up in the latter category before heading to the bench for the final 6:15.
The Blue Devils were led by 16 points from Austin Nehls.
The 47-point loss was the worst of the season for the Blue Devils, who are coached by former UConn assistant Howie Dickenman.
“I told our guys ‘learn from your mistakes today,’” said Dickenman, who was on Jim Calhoun’s staff and coached Ollie at UConn. “I appreciate Kevin’s unwillingness to let his team score in triple digits. I am going to call him tonight and say thank you very much.”
Central Connecticut: The Blue Devils snapped an eight-game losing skid to open the season with a win over UMass-Lowell. ... . The Blue Devils were just 4-for-17 from 3-point range.
UConn: The Huskies outscored CCSU 56-22 in the paint.
CCSU is home against Yale on Dec. 30; UConn is on the road at Texas, Tuesday.