STORRS, Conn. (AP) -Connecticut played well for about 10 minutes Monday night, long enough to get a win.
Stanley Robinson scored 18 points leading five Huskies in double figures as UConn beat Colgate 77-63 in the first round of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
The Huskies led by just a point at halftime, but outscored Colgate 44-31 after intermission.
``We played in a few bursts,' UConn coach Jim Calhoun said. ``If we do that tomorrow night we will not be going to New York. Stanley could have had 50 tonight.'
Robinson hit all eight of his shots, including a pair of 3-pointers. He was just 3 of 23 from 3-point range all of last season.
Kemba Walker added 16 points and six assists, Gavin Edwards had 14 points, Jamal Coombs-McDaniel had 11 and Jerome Dyson added 10.
Mike Venezia led Colgate (0-1) with 17. Kyle Roemer and Yaw Gyawu each had 12 for the Raiders.
UConn will play Hofstra in the second round on Tuesday. The Pride beat Yale 68-63 in the first game of the night. The Raiders will play Yale on Tuesday.
Connecticut broke the game open with a 21-5 run that turned a 39-36 lead into a 60-41 advantage midway through the second half. It was punctuated when Stanley Robinson grabbed a Kemba Walker miss high off the rim and slammed it home.
``It was a spark,' said Robinson. ``UConn, we're a fast breaking team. Kemba made some shots in the corner and I got some tip dunks. But, we've got to do more than just 10 minutes of basketball.'
It took the Huskies over a half to figure out Colgate's defense.
The Raiders came out in a man-to-man, but quickly switched to a zone against the faster Huskies.
UConn had built a 15-6 lead before Colgate began forcing the Huskies into turnovers and outside shots.
A 13-2 run by the Raiders was capped by a layup from Nick Pascal, giving Colgate a 23-22 lead, which it built to five points. But the Raiders were held without a field goal for the last 2 minutes of the half and UConn went into intermission up 33-32.
``Our game plan was to pack the zone in and let them shoot,' Roemer said. ``We let them shoot, and unfortunately, in the second half, they knocked 'em down.'
UConn found the seams in the zone in the second half. The Huskies shot 68 percent from the field after intermission and 55 percent for the game.
Colgate was 10-20 last season and finished in a tie for fifth place in the Patriot League. But the Raiders returned all five starters and guard Roemer, who missed all of last season with a knee injury.
Connecticut is now 191- 21 in November and December against non-conference opponents under Jim Calhoun, and had won 137 of its last 138 home games before Jan. 1.
Connecticut struggled before winning its 21st straight Gampel Pavilion opener on Friday, 75-66 over William & Mary.
``This Connecticut team has got to start playing like a Connecticut team,' said coach Jim Calhoun. ``Forget the shooting. Forget every other thing. It's got to get tougher. It's got to get more aggressive.'
The Associated Press News Service
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