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Final Score: UConn Handles UMass Lowell, 88-79

In their first action following the finals break, the Huskies put away the UMass Lowell River Hawks at the XL Center.

Rodney Purvis throws down a dunk against UMass Lowell Sunday.
Rodney Purvis throws down a dunk against UMass Lowell Sunday.
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Rodney Purvis led the way with 28 points on 10 of 14 shooting, as No. 25 UConn held off UMass Lowell in a shaky 88-79 win at the XL Center.

Purvis' 28-point performance is a new season high, after the junior scored 20 against New Hampshire Nov. 17, and was one point shy of his career-best 29 points against SMU in last season's American Athletic Conference final. Behind Purvis' excellent shooting performance, the Huskies (7-3) shot 64 percent from the field, falling just shy of what could have been a top-five shooting performance since 1980.

The Huskies needed every shot Sunday, as the River Hawks (4-7) refused to go away, despite being one of the worst performing teams in college basketball. UConn never led by more than 14 points, failing to put Lowell away. The River Hawks hung in early, and surprisingly only had a six-point deficit to deal with at the halftime break. UConn's talent was too much to handle in the end.

Lowell helped itself by putting in 12 3-pointers. The River Hawks' offense relied heavily on the three, attempting 30 shots from deep.

Omar Calhoun also had a big day for the Huskies. The senior finished in double figures for the second game in a row, scoring 14 points. He also scored 14 against Ohio State last Saturday.

Four starters and Calhoun finished in double figures, but no one else scored more than three, as Kevin Ollie relied heavily on a small number of players compared to games past. Amida Brimah missed Sunday's game as a precaution after suffering a testicular contusion against Ohio State eight days ago.

The River Hawks were led by 6-foot-2-inch guard/forward Jahad Thomas, who scored 16 points on 7 of 7 shooting, with all his points unofficially coming in the paint.