UConn Mauls USF, 83-40
By PAT EATON-ROBB
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ South Florida coach Stan Heath doesn’t plan on making his players watch the tape of their 83-40 loss to UConn.
After scoring just 12 baskets on 50 shots Wednesday night, this is game he would rather they just forget.
“We’re going to burn it,” he said of the game film.
DeAndre Daniels scored 12 points in just 23 minutes and freshman Kentan Facey added 10 points for the 24th-ranked Huskies (19-5, 7-4 American Athletic Conference), who led 45-14 at the break.
Musa Abdul-Aleem had eight points for South Florida (12-13, 3-9), which has lost three of its last four games.
They were never in this one.
Amida Brimah opened the game with the first of his six blocked shots. UConn’s 7-foot freshman center also had two dunks in the first 2 minutes as the Huskies ran out to an 8-0 lead. He finished with nine points.
“We took some bad shots, tough decisions,” Heath said. “It seemed like at some point in time we would have figured out that challenging Brimah was probably not a good thing.”
UConn held the Bulls to just four baskets in the first half and led by 31 after a dunk by Lasan Kromah just before the halftime buzzer. UConn opened the second half on a 17-3 run and led by as many as 47.
“We just kept it rolling,” UConn coach Kevin Ollie said. “We packed the paint and everybody who stepped on the court got a basket and I think that’s amazing.”
The Huskies had 12 players make it into the scoring column and no starter played more than 25 minutes. UConn had 24 assists on its 28 baskets.
“We feel like we’re one of the best teams in the nation and we can beat anybody,” Daniels said. “Once we play UConn basketball and we play defense like we did today, we’ll beat anybody.”
Shabazz Napier, who had seven points and five rebounds while playing just 18 just minutes, moved into UConn’s top 10 in scoring. He passed Donyell Marshall with his first points and Khalid El-Amin with a 3-pointer that made it 13-3.
The Huskies held the Bulls without a field goal for a stretch of more than 61/2 minutes during a 16-0 run that put the Huskies up 33-7.
Kromah’s dunk pushed the lead to 31 points and an alley-oop dunk by Facey pushed the lead over 40 at 59-17.
“They simply made a lot off shots,” Heath said. “We didn’t have an answer in man, we didn’t have an answer in zone, and we simply didn’t stop them.”
The Bulls shot just 17 percent from the floor before intermission and Martino Brock even managed to shoot an air-ball on a free throw.
Victor Rudd, who came in averaging 15 points for USF, was held to just one basket and nine points.
Connecticut has won eight of its last 10 games and is 12-2 at home, while South Florida fell to 5-4 on the road.
The Bulls have not beaten a ranked opponent in two years, since an upset at Louisville in February 2012.
Connecticut was missing two of its key reserves. Forward Tyler Olander missed the game with the flu, and guard Omar Calhoun also stayed back in Storrs after sustaining a concussion on Sunday.
South Florida played without point guard Anthony Collins, who hasn’t played in the last 15 games because of a left knee injury.
The Bulls head home for a meeting with in-state rival Central Florida on Saturday. South Florida won their first meeting this season, 79-78 on a free throw with 1 second left in overtime.
UConn has a showdown with No. 20 Memphis on Saturday. The Huskies already have beaten the Tigers once this season, a 10-point win in Tennessee last month.
Connecticut came into the game holding opponents to just over 64 points a game. Their last four opponents have averaged just over 50.
“I think we’ve been holding guys to a combined 33 percent,” Ollie said. “I want to keep this momentum going. I want to make sure we play defense. I just tell the guys to bring their locks.”
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