The 2010 Maui Invitational got off to a roaring start today, with Wichita State taking Connecticut down to the wire before the Huskies pulled away to win, 83-79. It was junior Kemba Walker stealing the headlines, putting the Huskies on his back and carrying them to victory in the tournament opener. After scoring just two points in the first half, Walker broke loose, scoring 29 points in the final 20 minutes to help UConn rallying after falling behind by nine midway through the half.
On the day, Walker finished with more made free throws — 14 of 15 — than Wichita State had total — shooting just 13. The free throw differential was eye-opening, with UConn holding a 44-13 advantage in attempts and 32-9 advantage in makes.
Four Huskies were in double figures, led by Walker with 31 and Alex Oriakhi with 12. Shabazz Napier and Roscoe Smith each finished with 10 points. In the shocking statistics department, UConn finished with 24 buckets on only seven assists.
Wichita State was led by the duo of David Kyles and Toure’ Murry. Kyles finished the day with 18 points while Murry added 19. Aaron Ellis and J.T. Durry each finished with six rebounds to lead the Shockers.
UConn moves on to face the winning of Michigan State vs. Chaminadein the second round while Wichita State faces the loser of that game, likely Chaminade.