No. 14 Connecticut 79, Harvard 73

Jerome Dyson would like some help from the bench.

The senior guard scored 24 points and came within an assist of a

triple-double as No. 14 Connecticut held off Harvard 79-73 on

Sunday.

The 6-foot-4 Dyson, who has scored over 20 points in five of

UConn’s seven games, grabbed 14 rebounds. But he played 38 minutes,

and hit just one of 12 second-half shots. He admits he was

exhausted by the end of the game.

“It’s definitely going to be hard when we start playing teams

who have a lot of different players who can come off the bench and

we’re running up and down the court every play,” he said. “Teams

are sending their players to the bench getting rest, and we can’t

do the same.”

Kemba Walker had 20 points and Stanley Robinson added 18 points

and 12 rebounds for the Huskies (6-1), who travel to New York to

take on No. 5 Kentucky in the SEC/Big East Invitational on

Wednesday.

Jeremy Lin had 30 points for Harvard (6-2). The Crimson came

within four points in the last 10 seconds, after trailing by as

many as 16 in the second half.

“We’ve been playing in spurts lately and we can’t have that,”

Walker said.

UConn, which led by seven points at halftime, built a 58-42

lead. But Lin, who hit 11 of his 18 shots, scored eight points in a

10-0 run that made it 58-52.

The Huskies extended the lead back to nine by hitting free

throws, but a 3-pointer by Lin that banked off the glass made it

72-67 with just over 1 minute left.

Dyson hit five free throws on four trips to the line down the

stretch, before two more baskets by Lin cut the lead to 77-73 with

7 seconds left.

Robinson made two free throws to seal the win.

The Huskies got just 14 points from their bench, 12 from Gavin

Edwards, who plays the bulk of his time at center and was in the

game for 34 minutes Sunday.

“We don’t have a bench,” UConn coach Jim Calhoun said. “We’re

faking the bench by bringing Gavin off. We don’t have a bench right

now and that’s causing problems.”

Robinson had six points and four rebounds as UConn took a 12-8

lead. Harvard scored the next five points, to take their only lead

of the game, 13-12.

UConn responded with a 21-4 run, sparked by two 3-pointers by

Walker and the shooting of Dyson.

But Harvard put together a 10-1 run. Lin, held scoreless for

much of the half, scored eight points in the final 4 minutes, and

UConn led 41-34 at halftime.

“I got more aggressive as the game went on, and I found it more

comfortable,” Lin said. “Also, our team did a good job of hanging

in there. We went down early in the first half and clawed back

within striking distance by the end of the first half, so just the

fact that we were able to hang around and just continue to make

plays down the stretch to give us a chance was key.”

UConn, which finished with a 39-38 rebound advantage, shot 32

percent from the field in the second half, and was outscored

39-38.