If the No. 2 UConn Huskies thought their game with the Buffalo Bulls was going to be easy, they thought wrong as the Bulls came to play tonight.

Connecticut forward Jeff Adrien, left, leaps towards the basket past Buffalo forward Brian Addison during the first half of an NCAA college men's basketball game in Amherst, N.Y. - AP PhotoBut in the end, it was UConn who came out on top as they survived their first road game for a 68-64 win in front of 4,899 at Alumni Arena in Buffalo, NY.

The Bulls (3-3) had two chances to tie or win the game at the end with UConn (8-0) leading 66-64. First, a bad attempt at a layup by Rodney Pierce was missed but he got his own rebound and called timeout. After the timeout, Pierce ran the clock down a little and then drove to the basket but Max Boudreau wasn’t expecting the pass that ended up in the hands of Kemba Walker who was fouled with 0.6 seconds left. Walker hit both free throws to seal a tight win for the Huskies.

Hasheem Thabeet led the Huskies with 21 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. He also had 4 blocked shots. Jeff Adrien had 18 points, 7 rebounds, a team-high 4 assists and 4 blocked shots. Craig Austrie was the only other Husky in double digits with 10 points.

Pierce led all scorers in the game with a career-high 28 points on 10-of-19 shooting and 5 rebounds. Max Boudreau as the only other Bulls player in double figures with 10 points.  Calvin Betts added 9 points and 3 rebounds.

Pierce got the Bulls out to a quick 6-0 lead forcing Jim Calhoun to call a timeout. Jerome Dyson finally got the Huskies on the board with a layup with 17:48 remaining. A 6-2 run by the Huskies tied the game at 8 and UConn finally got their first lead of the game at 10-9 on an Austrie layup. After the teams exchanged baskets, Buffalo went on a 7-0 run to take a 6 point lead that increased to 8 points at 24-16 with 9:50 left.

Connecticut Huskies center Hasheem Thabeet, left, dunks the ball in front of Buffalo forward Calvin Betts during the second half of an NCAA basketball game in Amherst, N.Y. on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008. - AP PhotoWith basketball being a game of runs, UConn followed with a 9-0 run to take a 1-point lead. The Bulls then went on a 4-0 spurt to take the lead back. After another exchange of baskets, an old fashioned 3-point play by Thabeet gave the Huskies a two point lead but a Pierce runner tied the game up at 32 to end the half.

The two teams exchanged baskets to start the second half before a 6-0 run by the Bulls gave them a 5 point lead.  The Huskies would cut the lead to 1 but the Bulls responded with 4 straight points to go back up by 5. UConn went on a 6-0 run to take 1 point lead and the Bulls retook the lead on a John Boyer layup. The Huskies would take a 5 point lead down the stretch on a Thabeet nasty dunk and then a layup but the Bulls just wouldn’t go away.

It wasn’t pretty for Calhoun’s squad but a win is a win. The Huskies now are off for final exams and when will return to action on December 15th when they will host Stony Brook at the XL Center at 7 PM.

Notes and musings:

UConn Huskies @ Buffalo Bulls 12.4.08 box score

The starters were A.J. Price, Craig Austrie, Jerome Dyson, Jeff Adrien and Hasheem Thabeet.

Thabeet played all but one minute in the game.

Stanley Robinson will return to the Huskies for the game against Stony Brook. They are still awaiting word on the status of Ater Majok.

Through seven games, UConn features a balanced scoring attack that has seen seven different players reach double figures, five players lead the squad in scoring, five players reach the 20-point mark and five players averaging double figures. That group averaging doubles does not include All-American A.J. Price (8.5 ppg).

UConn is now 16-7 in true road openers under head coach Jim Calhoun, 13-2 when those contests are against non-conference opponents.

Jim Calhoun now has 782 career wins. Next up on the list at No. 7 is Lefty Driesell.

Gavin Edwards saw limited minutes due to flu-like symptoms.

The Huskies shot 46.2% (24-of-52) from the floor while the Bulls shot 39.4% (26-of-66).

UConn shot an abysmal 61.5% (16-of-26) from the charity stripe.

Both teams pulled down 37 rebounds.

The Huskies committed 10 turnovers while the Bulls took good care of the ball turning the ball over just 6 times.

UConn outscored the Bulls 38-20 in the paint.

Buffalo’s bench outscored UConn 21-7.