UConn men’s basketball once again easily dispatched an inferior opponent, beating Binghamton 87-63 at the XL Center in Hartford on Saturday.
While the Bearcats’ 63 points were the most the Huskies have given up all season, UConn still created chaos on the defensive end and the bench helped the Huskies notch their fourth win this season.
Both teams struggled to get going offensively, and Binghamton did just enough early on to hold the lead through the opening seven minutes of the game. With the Huskies down 7-6, Akok Akok drilled his first 3-pointer of the day and the Huskies never looked back. From there on out, UConn outscored the Bearcats 28-15 to end the half up 37-22.
While Binghamton isn’t an elite offensive team, the Huskies made things miserable for them all day. UConn forced just 11 turnovers, but Adama Sanogo, Isaiah Whaley, and Andre Jackson were routinely altering shots and also had two blocks each. Akok was also a force down low defensively, though he didn’t register a block he did finish with eight points and went 3-3 from the field with two threes.
Tyrese Martin led the way offensively for UConn, notching a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds along with four assists and a block. He dominated Binghamton on the offensive glass and played menacing defense, all while working with Jackson to push the pace on the offensive end for easy transition baskets.
Tyler Polley tacked on 10 points, shooting 2-3 from deep, while Adama Sanogo added 12 while grabbing five boards.
After a solid offensive performance against LIU, Jackson once again showed improvement and varied scoring ability. He added nine points on the day with a thunderous putback dunk and hit one of his two 3-point attempts.
Aside from Jackson and Martin, the Huskies’ bench came up big. Bench players combined for 41 of UConn’s 87 points and were led by freshman Jordan Hawkins, who showcased his 3-point shooting and ability to get to the rack as he scored 11 points in his second career game. UConn also got 47 bench points in the win over LIU, so this is a promising trend for Dan Hurley’s squad.
UConn’s second-half defensive effort was lacking, but the Huskies' offense kept them ahead. The Bearcats never got closer than 14 points.
Things got a little chippy with 11:26 remaining, as Binghamton’s Ogheneyole Akuwovo fouled Jackson hard on an attempted layup, leading to a flagrant one foul on Akuwovo and a technical on Sanogo. Jackson responded by scoring seven points — including an empathic fast-break dunk and a three — to put things firmly out of reach.
The Huskies stretched their lead to 23 points multiple times in the second half before subbing out most of their lineup to give Hawkins and the other freshmen some playing time before securing the 24-point win.
Next up, UConn will head down to the Bahamas for its biggest game so far this season — an opening-round matchup in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament against No. 21 Auburn on Wednesday, Nov. 24 at 2:30 p.m.
ESPN will broadcast that game, and the winner will play the winner of Michigan State vs. Loyola-Chicago.