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Solid opening act for UConn women

Mel Thomas scored 23 points, and Charde Houston added 20 and 9 rebounds to help the No. 8 Connecticut women win their 11th consecutive season opener with an 84-50 victory over Richmond last night in Hartford.

Thomas opened the scoring with a 3-pointer and had 11 points during an 18-2 first-half run that broke open the game and gave the Huskies a 39-20 lead. She had 18 points at halftime, and hit 5 of 8 shots from behind the arc, tying a career high.

"We have a lot of weapons," Thomas said. "Coach says the best thing about our team is our team, and I think that's really true. We all need each other to win."

Kalana Greene added 14 points, 12 in the second half, and Renee Montgomery had 12 points and 7 assists.

Christina Campion scored 20 points to lead the Spiders, who shot just 27 percent from the floor.

BYU 55, Stanford 52 -- Haley Hall banked in a go-ahead 3-pointer with 16.5 seconds left and the shot clock expiring and the Cardinal then missed three shots from close range as the visiting No. 22 Cougars upset No. 4 Stanford in the second round of the Preseason Women's NIT.

LSU 88, Howard 44 -- At Baton Rouge, La., Sylvia Fowles scored 18 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the No. 10 Tigers to a rout in the Basketball Travelers Classic.

LSU (2-0) extended its home-court winning streak to 33 games.

Duke 72, Georgia Southern 48 -- At Durham, N.C., Josh McRoberts and DeMarcus Nelson each scored 16 points to lead the No. 11 Blue Devils past the Eagles in the second round of the CBE Classic.

Freshman Gerald Henderson Jr. added 13 points for the Blue Devils (2-0).

Marquette 59, Idaho St. 56 -- Dominic James scored 17 points to help the No. 16 Golden Eagles (2-0) escape with an overtime victory in a first-round game of the CBE Classic in Milwaukee.

Washington 102, Nicholls St. 74 -- At Seattle, senior reserve Brandon Burmeister scored a career-high 17 points on 5-for-7 shooting from 3-point range and the No. 17 Huskies (2-0) sailed.

Creighton 78, Miss. Valley St. 42 -- At Omaha, Anthony Tolliver and Nick Porter scored 14 points apiece to lead the No. 20 Bluejays to their 10th straight win in season openers.

Georgia Tech 100, Jackson St. 70 -- At Atlanta, touted freshmen Thaddeus Young (14 points), Javaris Crittenton (14), and Zach Peacock (12) were among six players in double figures, leading the 23d-ranked Yellow Jackets to an easy victory.

Tennessee 78, Fordham 71 -- At Nashville, Chris Lofton scored 30 points, and the No. 25 Vols (2-0) survived a sloppy game to beat the Rams in the opening round of the NIT Season Tip-off.

Duquesne 81, Youngstown St. 75 -- At Pittsburgh, Scott Grote scored 23 points in his college debut and Duquesne, relying mostly on six underclassmen after having five players shot earlier this fall, rallied down the stretch in its first game since the shootings ravaged the roster.

Aaron Jackson, a 6-foot-2-inch sophomore who is the only player among the shooting victims currently playing, had 12 points, a team-high 11 rebounds, and 6 assists.

Duquesne overcame Quin Humphrey's 23 points to win new coach Ron Everhart's debut after leaving Northeastern.

Houston 102, Rhode Island 99 -- Oliver Lafayette's 3-pointer at the buzzer lifted the Cougars over the Rams in overtime in South Kingstown, R.I.

Houston overcame a 90-86 deficit with less than 15 seconds to play in regulation to help Houston coach Tom Penders beat his former team.

Detroit 57, Maine 50 -- At Milwaukee, Brandon Cotton scored 24 points to lead the Titans to a come-from-behind victory over the Black Bears in the first round of the CBE Classic.

Franklin Pierce 70, New Hampshire 69 -- At Durham, N.H., Darryl Minnifield scored 17 points and Marcus Wellman added 15 as the Division 2 Ravens beat the Wildcats in overtime.

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