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NCAA Tournament 2011: Connecticut Topples Bucknell, 81-52

Kemba Walker finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and 12 assists as the No. 3 seed Connecticut Huskies cruised past No. 14 seed, Bucknell, 81-52, in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament at the Verizon Center on Thursday night.

UConn (32-9) advances to face the winner of No. 6 seed Cincinnati and No. 11 seed Missouri in the Round of 32.

The Huskies opened up a 14-7 with 15:49 left in the first half, but the Bison (28-10) were able to trim their deficit to three points, 18-15, with 12:22 left. UConn closed out the half on a 21-7 run to take a 39-22 lead into the break.

The second half also belonged to Connecticut, which outscored Bucknell, 42-30, in the final twenty minutes. The win marked the 850th career victory for UConn head coach Jim Calhoun, who led the Huskies into the NCAA Tournament for the 30th time in school history.

Roscoe Smith scored 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting and collected six rebounds for UConn, which made 32-of-66 shots to shoot 48.5% from the field. Jeremy Lamb had 16 points off the bench and Alex Oriakhi added nine points and 13 rebounds for the Huskies.

Bucknell was led by sophomore standout Mike Muscala, who scored 14 points. Bryson Johnson scored 11 points and both Darryl Shazier and Bryan Cohen added six points for the Bison, who were held to 31.4% shooting (16-for-51). In addition, Bucknell made just 7-of-20 threes and 13-of-15 free throws in the season-ending loss.