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Final Score: UConn Men’s Basketball Wins Second Straight at Home Over Temple, 73-59

The Huskies have won two in a row in comfortable fashion.

Kentan Facey puts up two of his career-high 23 points.
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

STORRS—Kentan Facey scored a career-high 23 points, Jalen Adams dished out a career-best 12 dimes and all of a sudden things are starting to click for the UConn Huskies.

For the second straight game, Connecticut started fast, keeping its foot on the throat of its opponent in a wire-to-wire victory. Led by Facey and Adams the Huskies jumped all over Temple on their way to a 73-59 victory at Gampel Pavilion Wednesday night in front of 6,582.

UConn (7-9, 2-3) rushed out to a 22-9 lead thanks in large part to a solid mix of inside-out play. Vance Jackson, Rodney Purvis and Adams all buried early attempts from beyond the arch while Amida Brimah (13 points, 3 rebounds), Steven Enoch, and Facey converted at the rim.

The Owls tried to chip away at the Huskies’ lead, time-and-time again electing to drive inside the lane. But Amida Brimah awaited, looking more like a volleyball player than a basketball player at times as he emphatically swatted six shots away. Temple did cut the margin to eight but a trio of dunks by Facey, Brimah, and Purvis along with a Jackson three sent UConn into the half leading, 39-28.

Just like on Sunday, UConn also came out strong out of the break, opening the second half with a 6-0 run highlighted by a pretty turnaround jumper from Facey. It was a banner performance by the senior big man who continually came up with big buckets each time Temple threatened to get close. Facey scored 12 points in the second half and needed only 11 shots to drop his career-best 23. He also added 10 rebounds.

“[Facey] is just locked into the game plan offensively and defensively,” Kevin Ollie said. “He knows how to get to his spots now.”

The Owls made one final push as a Mark Williams’ three cut the UConn advantage to 51-44 with 11:34 to play. But the Huskies continued to be aggressive—not settling for outside jumpers. Facey scored inside, Adams weaved his way to the rim and Brimah screen and rolled hard helping Connecticut outscore Temple, 42-20 in the paint.

UConn’s aggression paid off at the charity stripe as the Huskies outscored the Owls, 13-3 at the free-throw line.

“I feel like I am playing at a different level than I was before because my teammates are on me every day to keep progressing and they get me the ball where they know I can score,” Facey said.

Back-to-back strong showings has shifted the narrative surrounding the program. Once believed to be a lost season, this is morphing into a season of great improvement and hope for the future. Jackson has continued to improve his outside stroke, going 2-of-3 from downtown on his way to 10 points. Adams (11 points) was a superb decision maker, especially in the pick-and-roll, dishing out 12 assists and helping the Huskies win the points off turnover battle, 12-8.

UConn now faces two tough road challenges starting in Washington DC against Georgetown on Saturday afternoon before traveling to SMU.