LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) -- Yaunta Holland felt he was on the most
overlooked part of a team that was being overlooked.
The senior forward took care of two perceived slights by scoring
a career-high 24 points as Dayton beat Connecticut (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, AP) 80-66
Monday in the opening round of the Maui Invitational.
"Coming in everybody knew we had a backcourt but nobody knew we
had a frontcourt," Holland said. "All we heard about coming in
was how good Connecticut is. We just let everything flow and stuck
to our game plan."
Now the Flyers, who opened a season against a ranked team for
the first time, will meet top-ranked Arizona in Tuesday's
semifinals of the eight-team tournament. Arizona beat Chaminade
"I felt we belonged in this tournament," Dayton coach Oliver
Purnell said. "We proved it today and we'll have a bigger
Holland, who averaged 8.6 points last season, dominated
Connecticut's front line in besting his previous career high of 21
points against La Salle as a sophomore. He was 9-of-12 from the
field and had six rebounds.
"I'm shocked," Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said. "We got
beat up. We didn't defend. We didn't box out. They dominated us
inside. A 6-foot-7 post man dominated us. I can't tell you how
disappointed I am."
Dayton opened a 22-11 lead only to see the Huskies (1-1) take a
35-33 lead with 3:11 left in the first half. Dayton was up 39-37 at
halftime and then broke it open again with a 10-4 run to start the
second half. Holland put in a rebound and had a three-point play on
a move down low as part of a 19-5 run that gave Dayton a 74-52 lead
with 6:32 left.
"We set the tone right away that we wouldn't back down in the
paint," Purnell said. "In the second half we played half-court
defense and gang rebounded, and when we did that and continued our
good offense we broke it open."
Tony Stanley was 4-for-9 from 3-point range and added 22 points
for the Flyers, while Nate Green had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Albert Mouring had 16 points and Tony Robertson added 15 points
for the Huskies, who were playing without starters Caron Butler and
Souleymane Wane, who are both serving three-game suspensions from
the NCAA. Both players will be eligible to return for Wednesday's
game in this tournament.
"With Caron and Souleymane we might have only lost by eight or
10," Calhoun said. "I am more disappointed than you can imagine.
Losing happens to everybody -- to good teams, to young teams. This
was a different category of loss. This will eat at me for awhile.
We were lousy. We weren't very good at all."
|Dayton's Nate Green gets tied up with UConn's Marcus
Cox and teammate Yuanta Holland, right, as they battle for a rebound.||
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