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Late surge gets No. 13 UConn past Loyola
Hartford, CT (SportsNetwork.com) - DeAndre Daniels posted 21 points and eight rebounds as No. 13 UConn used a second-half surge to down Loyola-Maryland, 76-66, in the first-ever meeting between the schools on Tuesday.
Ryan Boatright totaled 13 points and Lasan Kromah 12 for the Huskies (7-0), who received 11 points from Niels Giffey in the victory.
Dylon Cormier's game-best 23 points wasn't enough for the Greyhounds (4-1). Eric Laster added 12 points, with R.J. Williams picking up 10 points and six assists in defeat.
Cormier's triple pulled Loyola within 48-43 and the visitors had just under 14 minutes left for an upset, but UConn snapped to attention thereafter.
"In a place like this, a five-point game turns into a 10-point game pretty quick," Loyola head coach G.G. Smith said. "We just weren't able to convert on our opportunities."
Boatright and Daniels hit back-to-back buckets to increase the hosts' lead to nine, and after Jarred Jones hit a jumper with 11:28 left to pull the Greyhounds within six, the Huskies embarked on a game-deciding 16-5 run to seal the victory.
Kromah scored five straight to begin the burst, Daniels added five points from there, Phillip Nolan connected on a jumper, Boatright hit both of his tries from the line and Daniels capped the surge on a tip-in with 5:22 to play for a 72-55 game.
"I feel like we came out a little bit sluggish," Daniels admitted. "We came out a little bit slow in the first half. In the second half we picked it up a little bit."
At the outset, a 9-0 clip gave UConn a 15-6 edge, which was upped to 23-9 inside of eight minutes left before halftime on Omar Calhoun's shot from long distance.
Loyola worked its way back thanks to an 8-2 surge to come within 25-17 on a Cormier make. The deficit stood at 34-26 heading to the break after Cormier made a layup.
Cormier scored six points early in the second half and Loyola trailed 38-35 less than 2 1/2 minutes in. The Greyhounds twice more came within three, but the Huskies had an answer.
Kromah's bucket inside of 5 1/2 minutes played made it 48-40 for UConn.
Connecticut hosts Florida on Monday ... The Huskies shot 50.9 percent for the contest, holding the Greyhounds to 35.7 percent from the floor ... Shabazz Napier played 33 minutes, and scored only four points while pulling down seven rebounds and dishing out seven assists.
11/27 00:22:15 ET
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