UConn 66, Michigan State 62: Huskies open Kevin Ollie era with upset win in Germany

Shabazz Napier scored 25 points and the UConn Huskies opened the Kevin Ollie era and 2012-13 season with a 66-62 upset victory over No. 14 Michigan State, 66-62, in the season opener Friday in Germany.

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UConn 66, Michigan St. 62: Huskies win the opener

Shabazz Napier scored 25 points as the Connecticut Huskies started off the Kevin Ollie era with a 66-62 upset over No. 14 Michigan State at Ramstein Air Force base in Ramstein, Germany. The Huskies were efficient the entire game, shooting 46 percent, including 43 percent on 6-14 from the three-point line, while a sound defensive effort held Michigan State to under 40 percent shooting.

Connecticut took control of the game from the get go, starting the game with a 6-0 lead and leading by as many as 15 at the 5:54 mark of the first half. However, foreshadowing the second half, Connecticut would go cold as Michigan State ended the half on a 12-4 run to pull the Spartans to within seven at the half. It wouldn't take long for Michigan State to capitalize on that momentum, taking its first lead of the game five minutes into the second half. Connecticut was able to recoup, quickly taking back a one-point lead. The game would remain tight in the second half, but Connecticut would never trail again, maintaining a 1-4 point lead throughout the rest of the contest.

Napier led the Huskies with 25 points on 8-16 shooting, while Ryan Boatright added 13 and DeAndre Daniels 12. For Michigan State, Keith Appling led the way with 17 points, with Branden Dawson chipping in 15 and Gary Harris 12.

The game was the first for Connecticut since the retirement of longtime coach Jim Calhoun. It next takes the court on Nov. 13 against Vermont.

For more UConn Huskies basketball coverage, visit our blog, The UConn Blog.


UConn leads 40-33 over MSU at halftime

The UConn Huskies and new head coach Kevin Ollie have raced out to a 40-33 lead over the No. 14 Michigan State Spartans in the season opener for both teams at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. The Huskies built a big advantage early as they were hitting nearly every shot they took in the first 10 minutes, but the game settled down and the Spartans pulled closer by halftime.

UConn opened the game with a 20-6 run, and eventually built the lead to 16 at 34-18 with 7:46 to play in the first half. MSU has chipped away since then as the Huskies have cooled down from the field.

Shabazz Napier led the way for UConn in the first 20 minutes, dropping in 14 points on 5-8 shooting.

The Spartans have stayed in the game with offensive rebounding. MSU is grabbing almost half of their own misses, and have limited the Huskies to less than 20 percent of theirs.

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