Coming off a frustrating loss to Louisville in Storrs, and without guard Ryan Boatright, UConn (15-4, 3-3) responded beautifully with a 90-66 victory over a Temple Owls (5-12, 0-6) team that seemed committed to allowing the Huskies to have any shot they desired.
UConn shot 53.4% from the floor including a scorching 12-23 (52.2%) from three. Shabazz Napier came out red-hot scoring 15 points in the first half before picking up 2 fouls and heading to the bench. In the second half, it was more of the same as Shabazz finished with another ridiculous stat line: 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists.
The leading scorer for the Huskies however was DeAndre Daniels. Daniels erupted for 21 points in the second half, finishing with 31 to go along with 12 boards. When Temple put one of their big men on him, he lit it up from the outside going 4-6 from deep, and when they put a smaller defender on him he took it to the rack at will.
The 2 guard spot suffered a little in Ryan Boatright's absence. Lasan Kromah spent the most time there shooting 2-7 with 4 turnovers, although he did have 8 rebounds. Omar Calhoun hit a three and finished with 5 points. He also had 2 turnovers, but he looked like he was playing more confident and less lost on the court which is a definite step in the right direction. I was dreaming about Rodney Purvis and Danny Hamilton all night.
Terrence Samuel was the biggest beneficiary of Boatright's vacated minutes. You could tell that he was a little too excited at times, but overall he brought great energy and looked especially good against the zone.
Production from the big men was underwhelming. Brimah, Nolan, and Olander (although he only played 3 minutes) combined for just 7 points and 4 rebounds. Nevertheless, the Huskies managed to out-rebound the Owls 45-25.
It's great to see Kevin Ollie's squad put Saturday's loss in the rear-view mirror and completely obliterate another team the way they did tonight. Rutgers and Houston are next on the schedule, then the Huskies face a big test in against a 15th-ranked Bearcat's team in Cincinnati on February 6th.