It certainly wasn’t the prettiest games for the UConn Huskies men’s basketball team on Monday night. After all, it was just the second game in a long season.

Sure the Huskies have a long ways to go before they reach their full potential but you can see it’s their. Now it’s up to harness it and run with it.

UConn Huskies guard Shabazz Napier (13) scores and is fouled on this play as Wagner Seahawks guard Marcus Burton (4) and Wagner Seahawks guard Jonathon Williams (23) try to stop him during second half action. Williams was called with the foul. Napier was game high scorer with 21 points The Wagner Seahawks, coached by Danny Hurley, gave the Huskies all they could handle but in the end it was UConn who came out on top 78-66 in front of 9,217 at Gampel Pavilion on campus in Storrs, CT.

It’s the 13th straight win for UConn and second this season (2-0). Wagner falls to 1-1 on the season.

In the win over Columbia, Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier led the way for the Huskies. It was no different on Monday night either.

Napier paced the Huskies with 21 points but did commit six turnovers while Lamb added 20 points and seven rebounds. DeAndre Daniels had a breakout game for the home team as he had 11 points, five rebounds and three blocks. Andre Drummond also rebounded from a poor performance in the season opener to add eight points, five rebounds and three blocked shots.

Alex Oriakhi led the Huskies with nine rebounds while Tyler Olander led the way with four assists.

Latif Rivers led the Seahawks with 11 points while both Kenneth Ortiz and Tyler Murray chipped in with 10 points each. Naofall Folahan had a team-high six rebounds while scoring nine points.

After falling behind early, Wagner took the lead at 11-8 with a 7-0 run. The Huskies would battle back though and take a 16-13 lead. Wagner would keep it close though before the Huskies closed out the first half on a 20-8 run to take a 41-28 lead.

The Huskies would push their lead to 18 points in the second half even though they went cold from the floor. They went seven minutes without a field goal making nine free throws to get it to 18 points at 61-43.

The Seahawks wouldn’t go away though as they used a 10-0 run to cut the Huskies lead to eight points. But then Shabazz took over scoring the next seven UConn points to keep Wagner from even thinking about the upset.

The Huskies took poor care of the ball as they committed 19 turnovers. Obviously that needs to improve. As we all know head coach Jim Calhoun will find something wrong with what they did. Like I said earlier, they weren’t perfect. They played well enough to get the job done.

Some positives for me include the play of Daniels and Drummond. If it weren’t for Drummond coming in, Daniels would have been the star freshman. But playing in the shadows of Drummond, he put together another solid all around game coming alive offensively and playing well on the defensive end for the second straight game.

It was also nice to see Drummond look a little more comfortable on the court. He’s used to being the man and not coming off the bench. I’m sure in time he’ll be starting but he needs to build on what he did in this game. As he gets more time, he’s going to be a beast.

UConn is back on action on Thursday night when they’ll host the Maine Black Bears at the XL Center in Hartford, CT at 7 p.m. That game will be broadcast locally in CT on SNY.

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Notes and musings:

Wagner Seahawks @ UConn Huskies 11-14-11 box score

Here the postgame quotes from UConn head coach Jim Calhoun and Wagner head coach Danny Hurley as well as some of the players.

The Huskies have not lost a home game at Gampel Pavilion in the months of November and December since it opened.

The last time UConn lost a regular-season game in Storrs before Jan. 1 was in 1973, a span of 101 games.

The starters for the Huskies were Shabazz Napier, Jeremy Lamb, Roscoe Smith, Tyler Olander and Alex Oriakhi.

UConn shot 44.7% (21-47) from the floor while the Seahawks shot 39.7% (23-58).

The Huskies had just seven assists on their 21 made baskets.

UConn was 31-of-43 (72.1%) from the charity stripe. This still needs to get better but getting to the line that many times shows you something from them. They just need to convert better.

The Huskies obviously got Calhoun’s rebounding message as they dominated the glass 42-24 including 18-11 on the offensive end.

UConn had just 10 points off of 13 Wagner turnovers. The Seahawks had 17 points off of the 19 Huskies turnovers.

The Huskies had 14 second chance points to 11 for Wagner.

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Photo credit: Richard Messina – Hartford Courant (No. 12 in gallery)