STORRS, Connecticut (Ticker) -- Emeka Okafor dominated inside and Ben Gordon took care of things outside as No. 12 Connecticut posted a 97-85 victory over pesky Wagner.
An emerging 6-9 forward, Okafor continued his strong start to his sophomore season, scoring 23 points, grabbing a career-high 19 rebounds and blocking eight shots. It was his third game of at least seven blocks this season.
Led by Okafor's dominating presence on the inside, the Huskies outrebounded the Seahawks, 55-33, getting 27 second-chance points.
"They were up and down the court," Okafor said. "They are real fast. They got ahead of us and played their game, but we stuck with ours and got the win."
Huskies coach Jim Calhoun was glad to have Okafor on his side.
"They (Wagner) ran up and down the court better than we did," Calhoun said. "They just didn't bring Emeka Okafor. If Emeka Okafor had switched uniforms, Wagner would have won the game. It's nice to have him. He was magnificent."
Wagner coach Dereck Whittenburg agreed.
"I still don't think he knows how good he could be," Whittenburg said. "He's good, but I don't think he comes in with the presence of the game. I think he can get 30 and 15 every night if he really wants to. I really do. I think he's a terrific player."
Gordon, who is also in his sophomore season, finished with 29 points, making five 3-pointers to pace the Huskies (5-0), who have taken advantage of a weak early-season schedule. Connecticut does not leave the state until it visits Oklahoma on January 7.
Despite the win, Calhoun was disappointed with his team.
"I'm just disappointed that we're in game five and don't appear much better than, or maybe not as good as we were in game one," Calhoun said. "And that's a little disappointing, defensively, particularly. I don't think we're that very good offensively, either."
Jermaine Hall and Dedrick Dye each scored 20 points for Wagner (2-3), which was within six points with just under two minutes remaining. Hall also had 10 rebounds, but committed eight turnovers.
Overmatched on the inside, the Seahawks relied on their perimeter game and did their best to try to overcome a 15-point halftime deficit.
A 3-pointer by Teoine Carroll with 13:09 remaining in the contest had the Seahawks within 62-57. It stayed close and the Seahawks were still within five following a 3-pointer by Courtney Pritchard with 5:54 to play.
The Seahawks made 8-of-12 shots from beyond the arc. They shot 49 percent (34-of-70) overall.
But after Pritchard's 3-pointer, Gordon answered with a shot from the arc 17 seconds later, triggering an 18-6 run to close the contest.
"We just don't feel the need or have the sense of urgency to put teams away," Gordon said. "I can't say anything, but I mean, it is what it is. We showed that we let them cone back two times. We had them down 16. We just need to sustain good defense for longer periods."
Gordon made 8-of-16 shots from the field, going 5-of-8 from 3-point range. Okafor had no trouble with the smaller Seahawks, making 10-of-17 shots.
A 3-pointer by Gordon gave the Huskies a double-digit lead less than 13 minutes into the contest, but the Seahawks battled back, closing to 34-31 with 4 1/2 minutes left before intermission on a layup by Carroll.