Wed, 03 Mar 2021

UConn wins with defense, stifles Butler

Field Level Media
27 Jan 2021, 13:55 GMT+10

Tyrese Martin scored 20 points and Isaiah Whaley anchored a strong defensive effort with a career-high seven blocks as Connecticut knocked off Butler 63-51 in Storrs, Conn. on Tuesday to sweep the season series.

R.J. Cole had 11 points and five assists, and Whaley added six points and five rebounds to help UConn snap a two-game losing streak while playing a fifth straight game without leading scorer James Bouknight.

The Huskies' consecutive losses bounced them from the top-25 rankings after a two-week stay. It was their first trip to the national rankings since 2016-17.

Bryce Golden led Butler with 19 points on 5 of 7 3-pointers after entering the game 1 of 18 for the season. Aaron Thompson added eight points, and leading scorer Jair Bolden was held to just seven on 3 of 12 shooting as Butler had its two-game winning streak snapped.

Martin scored nine points in the first half on 4 of 4 shooting and converted a floater at the buzzer that provided the Huskies a 38-34 lead. He scored on a layup and a shot from behind the arc during an 11-2 run that pushed the bulge to 60-41 with 5:54 left.

Martin had 15 points in a 73-60 win over Butler on January 9.

The Huskies defense smothered the Bulldogs offense, making them work hard for every shot. Butler shot just 34.5 percent from the floor (20 of 58), including 29.6 percent in the first half (8 of 27). Butler's Bryce Nze, who had 18 points and six rebounds in the earlier loss to the Huskies, finished with two points on 1 of 11 shooting.

The Huskies shot 61.5 percent from the field in the first half, including 6 of 9 from the arc. They drained four 3-pointers over a four minute span -- two by Jalen Gaffney -- to expand a three-point lead to 14 with 3:33 left. Tyler Polley added eight points and two 3-pointers off the bench in the opening 20 minutes.

Golden scored eight points and knocked down 2 of 3 triples for the Bulldogs.

--Field Level Media

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