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Recap: Iona , Connecticut
Date: December 27, 2009 2:00 PM EDT
  

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -UConn's Stanley Robinson put on a show for his two young daughters during their first visit to Connecticut.

The senior forward scored a season-high 29 points and Jerome Dyson added 17 as the Huskies beat Iona 93-74 on Sunday in a final tuneup before they begin Big East play.

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``I think I like playing better when my family is here,' Robinson said.

Kemba Walker had 14 points and seven assists, and freshman Jamal Coombs-McDaniel chipped in with a career-high 13 points.

No. 11 UConn (9-2) opened up a 14-point lead at intermission after struggling in the first half against its last two non-conference opponents.

``We really got some energy going in the first half,' said Dyson, who had 13 points at the break. ``We gave up too many 3s, but we really kept them out of the paint in the first half.'

Scott Machado had 14 for Iona (8-5), which had won four in a row, including an 82-73 victory at Providence. Rashon Dwight and Rashard McGill each added 12, and Jonathan Huffman had 10 for the Gaels.

``They did a good job of containing our penetration early, and then we could never get into the bonus,' said Iona coach Kevin Willard. ``It's tough when a team shoots 35 free throws and you shoot 10. You have no chance - road, home, neutral, Mars.'

With 4-year-old Kamilah and 2-year-old Kelsi in the stands, Robinson scored 19 in the second half, including an alley-oop dunk off a pass from Dyson with 3 minutes left that gave UConn its only 20-point lead of the game at 91-70.

That was perhaps the highlight of the day for Robinson, but probably not for the girls, who are on a holiday visit from their home in Alabama.

``We've spent a lot of time playing in the snow,' Robinson said. ``They liked that.'

Iona opened in a pressing defense, but UConn had no problems breaking it, running out to a 13-6 lead, punctuated when Dyson went end-to-end, finishing with a tomahawk dunk and a free throw.

After Walker used a crossover move to free himself for a driving layup, it was 21-12.

Iona got within four points, but UConn ran back out to a 45-31 lead at halftime. Dyson had 13 points at the break.

The Huskies were tied with Maine going into the second half last Tuesday before pulling away. In a 60-51 victory over Central Florida two days earlier, they trailed by five at the break.

Connecticut opens its Big East slate Wednesday at Cincinnati.

``We're putting new parts and pieces together as we go along,' UConn coach Jim Calhoun said. ``I think we're getting better.'

The Gaels, who haven't won five in a row since January 2006, were coming off an 82-60 win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Wednesday. Twelve Iona players saw action in this one.

The Huskies are now 3-1 against the Gaels, winning 105-54 in 2003. Iona's only victory was in 1984.

UConn has won 143 of its last 144 home games against non-league competition before the New Year, going 92-1 in Hartford's XL Center.

Iona has lost six straight against nationally ranked opponents since beating Iowa State an 89-72 four years ago.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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