Victories in the BIG EAST are rarely this easy. DeAndre Daniels notched a career high 26 points, leading four Huskies in double figures, and UConn jumped out to a 9-0 lead coasting to a 99-78 victory over DePaul Tuesday evening in Storrs.
“We came out aggressively and attacked (DePaul’s) pressure early and often”, said UConn coach Kevin Ollie, “I thought we passed the ball very, very well”, and added, “We played like a team. We concentrated on hitting first, getting rebounds and I thought we did that for the whole game.”
Huskies play complete game
UConn (11-3, 1-1) did it on both ends of the floor crushing the Blue Demons on the boards 49-29, including 19 off the offensive glass. Even more encouraging was the strong play of the frontcourt as Tyler Olander (10 pts, 5 rbs), Enosch Wolf (8 pts, 7 rbs) and Daniels eight rebounds all contributed to the victory.
Huskies point guard Shabazz Napier praised the offensive output of the bigs, “It gives me more confidence to get them the ball and makes the opponent believe that (the frontcourt) is going to get the ball. Just like (it is) for the backcourt when we score, guys want to play us tighter and when the front court scores, it makes it easier for everybody, because (the defense) has to worry about more than just two guys.”
After jumping out to the early lead, the Huskies used another 11-0 run to push the lead to 20, 31-11, shooting 70% from the floor, with just over eleven minutes to play. The Huskies would push the lead out to 22 before eventually settling on a 20 point, 54-34, halftime margin. UConn out-rebounded the Blue Demons 30-11 by the half, at one time holding a whopping 19-2 advantage.
DePaul (10-6, 1-2) third year Head Coach Oliver Purnell didn’t mask his frustration with his team’s effort, “I’m really disappointed with the way we played tonight” adding, “(UConn) rebounded 10 of their first 16 shots and we really just didn’t recover from that. They were getting second and third shots. (78 Points) in a college basketball game is not that bad. Should be a close game, but when you’re giving up that many rebounds, that many high percentage shots, it makes it hard, if not impossible to win.”
Daniels scored eleven of UConn’s first 24 points, with Ryan Boatright (22 pts, 4 rbs) and Napier (16 pts, 8 rbs, 7 assts) also hitting for double figures before the half.
“DeAndre (Daniels) played the way I expect him to play”, said Ollie.
The Blue Demons, often settling for the outside shot in the first, looked to make a conscious effort to attack the paint coming out after the break, whittling the lead down to twelve,59-47, with just over fourteen minutes to go. A 16-4 run over the next four minutes pushed the lead back out to 24 and the Huskies never looked back.
Ollie was happy, “First BIG EAST victory.”
UConn is now 9-1, having won eight straight, all-time versus DePaul …DeAndre Daniels previous career high was 23 set against Harvard earlier this season…UConn out-rebounded an opponent for only the third time…UConn’s 49 rebounds are a season high…The Huskies travel to South Bend, Ind., for a Saturday matchup against #17 (AP) Notre Dame (14-1, 2-0) at 2 p.m.