Sun, 24 Jan 2021

UConn pulls away to defeat Central Connecticut State

Field Level Media
26 Nov 2020, 13:40 GMT+10

James Bouknight had 20 points and eight rebounds to lead the UConn men's basketball team to a 102-75 win against visiting Central Connecticut State in the season opener for both teams on Wednesday night.

RJ Cole added 17 points, six assists and four steals, Brendan Adams scored 15 points, and Tyler Polley had 14 points and seven rebounds for the Huskies, who returned seven of their top nine scorers from last season's team that finished 19-12.

Myles Baker scored 17 points to lead Central Connecticut, which was coming off a 4-27 season. Karrington Wallace and Jamir Reed added 14 points apiece for the Blue Devils.

UConn practiced just four times over six days leading up to the season opener because the program was shut down for 14 days earlier this month when an unidentified player tested positive for COVID-19.

After a tighter-than-expected first half, the Huskies used an 11-2 run early in the second half to take a 61-45 lead.

Central Connecticut got back within nine, but a 12-2 run later in the half extended the lead to 80-59 with 8:12 left.

Bouknight, the second-leading scorer for UConn last season at 13 points a game, scored 14 in the first half to help the Huskies to a 48-41 lead.

UConn struggled earlier in the half against a zone defense employed by Central Connecticut coach Donyell Marshall, who was the Big East Player of the Year for UConn for the 1993-94 season and the first NBA lottery pick in school history.

The Blue Devils led 20-19 midway through the half before moving ahead 25-23 on a three-point play by Baker.

Central Connecticut led by as many as four with 7:36 left in the half before UConn began chipping away behind Cole and Bouknight.

Cole, a junior transfer who averaged 21.4 points and 6.4 assists at Howard during the 2018-19 season, sank a 3-pointer with 5:13 remaining to give UConn the lead for good at 36-33.

Bouknight converted a four-point play with 1:30 left that gave the Huskies their first double-digit lead at 48-36.

--Field Level Media

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