Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier carried the Huskies (5-0) to their nation-high 16th win in a row in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in the Bahamas. The Huskies struggled to put UNC-Asheville away but survived the upstart Bulldogs behind 46 points from their dynamic guard combo.
The Huskies led from the opening tip but never led by more than 16 (62-46) and held a lead of 10 to 12 for much of the game. Outside of Napier and Lamb who scored 23 points each on 15-of-29 shooting, the rest of the UConn roster attempted just 18 shots with no other players in double-figures. Lamb tied for the team lead in rebounds with six and Napier’s seven assists were a team-high.
Freshmen forward Andre Drummond finished with nine points and five rebounds as the Huskies continually fed him the ball down low. The Huskies a team short 53 percent, including 40 percent from behind the arc.
Matt Dickey led the Bulldogs with 18 points and was joined in double figures by Jeremy Atkinson and J.P Primm. The undersized squad kept it close by turning the ball over 12 times and not letting the Huskies dominate them in the paint, but a 10 rebound margin in favor of the Huskies and missed shots down the stretch killed any chance of a comeback.
UConn will play Central Florida at 2 p.m. Friday in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. The game will be available on TV on Versus. UNC-Asheville will play the College of Charleston in the losers bracket at 9:30 p.m.