Huskies Storm On Vermont

Connecticut used the lessons learned from its season-opening loss to Iowa a week ago to school Vermont.

Khalid El-Amin had 28 points as the No. 8 Huskies outgunned and outran the Catamounts 89-52 Friday night.

And although he lit up the scoreboard, El-Amin said the key to the rout was passing. He was one of three Huskies with four assists.

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  • "Against Iowa we weren't making that extra pass. Tonight we tried to keep everyone involved, keep everybody happy," he said. "I think we did a good job of that."

    Coach Jim Calhoun called the win "a step forward" as the Huskies improved to 2-1.

    "The energy in the first half was terrific," Calhoun said.

    El-Amin hit the opening basket seven seconds into the game to give the Huskies a lead they would not relinquish. The junior point guard, who finished two points shy of his career high, got 18 first-half points in just 15 minutes.

    "I was definitely trying to be more aggressive tonight," said El-Amin. "My shots were falling early so I think that gave us some momentum."

    With 14:10 left in the first half, the Huskies were up 19-2.

    "That was my worst nightmare. I thought, `Can we really be that bad?"' Vermont coach Tom Brennan said.

    Connecticut built a 50-19 halftime lead with bursts of 13-0 and 10-0. The Catamounts (0-1) were held scoreless in the final five minutes of the half.

    The Catamounts scored 33 points in the second half to the Huskies' 39.

    "When the smoke cleared, we came back and did some things," said Brennan. "I was very impressed with how we came back in the second half."

    The uptempo Huskies scored 20 points off their transition game and pummeled Vermont insidegetting 50 points in the paint.

    Edmund Saunders finished with 12 points and Albert Mouring had 10 for Connecticut.

    Craig Peper led Vermont with 12 points. Trevor Gaines had 10 points and was the only other Cat to finish in double figures.

    Connecticut holds a 44-8 edge in the series that dates back to 1925. The win gave the Huskies a 65-game winning streak against non-Big East New England rivals.

    It was also the first meeting between Calhoun and Brennan, both in their 14th season with their schools.

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