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UConn Men’s Basketball Takes Down Cornell, 91-74

The Huskies shook off their bad loss to Iowa with a focused effort.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

In a strong bounce-back performance following a weak showing their last time out, the UConn men’s basketball team defeated Cornell, 91-74, at the XL Center in Hartford.

The game started tight, with Cornell showing no signs of being intimidated. The Big Red’s disciplined motion offense, led by one of the nation’s top scorers in Matt Morgan, was finding easy looks early on. But UConn figured it out defensively and then rode a 12-0 run down the stretch to take a 15-point lead into the halftime break. The Huskies finished with 12 steals.

“It’s not an easy system to play against,” Hurley said after the game. “But they adjusted well to the cuts... really pleased for their first game against the Princeton offense.”

The Huskies did a nice job of keeping their own turnovers down and shots were falling as well—Jalen Adams, Christian Vital, and freshman Brendan Adams combined to go 12-20 from the field as they scored 33 in the opening 20 minutes to match the visitors’ first-half total.

Dan Hurley’s squad kept it up in the second half, with Tarin Smith scoring 10 straight at one point to help them put it away. Jalen Adams continued to make some amazing individual plays on his way to 21 points. Vital had 19 points and Smith finished with 12.

Many other Huskies made solid contributions across the night in a solid overall team effort, with five players scoring in double figures. Tyler Polley got 10 opportunistic points and also made some great plays defensively while Alterique Gilbert overcame early foul trouble to finish with 11 points and lead the team with five rebounds.

Cornell played hard and kept the game reasonably competitive, but UConn kept its buffer and led comfortably on its way to victory. It looked a lot like the games the Huskies played against elite opponents in years past, except with a better result for Connecticut fans.

The Huskies finished 50.8 percent shooting from the field, won the turnover battle 12-19 with 25 points off of turnovers, and scored 44 points in the paint.

UConn will be in action next on Saturday against New Hampshire in what will be a noon tip-off at the XL Center.

Watch post-game video of Hurley, Jalen Adams, Vital and others here!