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(Sunday, February 9th)
Final Score: (22) Connecticut 75, UCF 55
Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Shabazz Napier and Lasan Kromah each recorded 17 points and seven rebounds as 22nd-ranked Connecticut rolled to a 75-55 victory over UCF in an American Athletic Conference clash.
Kromah finished 7-of-11 from the field and Napier added six assists in addition to knocking down 3-of-4 attempts from 3-point range. DeAndre Daniels contributed 16 points and seven boards to help Connecticut (18-5, 6-4 AAC) bounce back strongly from Thursday's tough loss at conference-leading Cincinnati.
Isaiah Sykes paced UCF (9-12, 1-9) with 17 points and five assists, with Justin McBride tallying a career-high 13 points off the bench in defeat.
The loss was the Golden Knights' eighth in a row, a skid that began with an 84-61 drubbing at the hands of the Huskies on Jan. 11.
UCF hung right with the heavily favored Huskies through the game's first 10 minutes, largely due to the efforts of Sykes. The Golden Knights' top scorer put up 10 points during that stretch to help his team grab an 18-17 edge, but was shut down over the remainder of the half and Connecticut in turn began to assert its superiority.
UConn went on a 19-3 tear to assume control, with Kromah accounting for the final five points and putting the Huskies up 36-21 with a steal and layup with 2:31 to go in the opening period.
A Daiquan Walker trey gave UCF some short-lived momentum, but Napier countered with a three of his own and later fed Daniels for a layup that staked UConn to a comfortable 41-24 advantage at the break.
Back-to-back buckets by McBride followed by a Kasey Wilson triple brought the Golden Knights within 57-49 with 7:21 remaining, but UCF was held scoreless over the next two minutes and the Huskies closed out the contest with an 18-6 run.
Connecticut rattled off six straight points to counter Wilson's three, with Napier scoring the last four after forcing turnovers on back-to-back UCF possessions.
McBride was appearing in only his fifth game of the season and hadn't scored a single point while playing just 13 minutes over the first four. He finished 5- of-6 from the floor in 13 minutes ... Napier had 14 points and 11 assists in UConn's blowout win over the Knights last month ... The Huskies outscored UCF by a 48-26 margin in the paint and finished with a 42-31 rebounding advantage
02/09 21:18:21 ET