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UConn men’s basketball plows past Georgetown, 96-73

Five Huskies finished in double figures as UConn won its fourth straight game.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

The no. 20 UConn men’s basketball team continues to roll, dispatching the Georgetown Hoyas 96-73 to improve to 14-4 and 5-2 in the Big East. Adama Sanogo led the Huskies with 19 points and eight rebounds while Isaiah Whaley continued his resurgent play with 15 points and seven rebounds, six of which were offensive.

UConn’s backcourt shined as well. RJ Cole chipped in 14 points and seven assists, Tyrese Martin added 14 points and eight rebounds, and freshman Jordan Hawkins went four for seven from three for 15 points. The Huskies are now 9-1 at home this season and have won four straight.

The Huskies stuck to their strengths early, crashing the offensive glass and feeding Sanogo. Then Andre Jackson did this in traffic to really set the tone.

(You can’t blame seven-footer Timothy Igoefe for fouling out with six minutes to play. I, too, would want to leave the game early after getting dunked on like that.)

The Huskies feasted inside, 12 of their first 19 points came in the paint. Back-to-back threes from Akok Akok and Hawkins gave UConn its first double-digit lead with 10 to play. Every time Georgetown gathered some momentum, UConn would come back with a timely bucket. The only thing keeping it from a blowout was the Huskies’ lackluster perimeter defense; the Hoyas shot 8 of 13 from three.

“We had so few fouls, it speaks to how soft and easy we were to play against,” Hurley said at the half. “That’s not our identity and it needs to be fixed quickly.”

UConn quickly stretched the lead to 17 out of the break. From there on out, the goal was to avoid a letdown and tighten up the closeouts on shooters. The Husky defense improved, but foul trouble plagued their bigs. Patrick Ewing sprinkled in some full-court press to try and slow down the UConn offense, but it was picked apart for either dunks or wide-open threes. A 10-2 run culminated in a Sanogo alley-oop, and the rout was on.

Hurley wanted the defense cleaned up, and the team responded by holding the Hoyas to 38% shooting from the field in the second half.

“When we stick to our identity we’re a hard team to beat,” Hurley said after the game. “We’re physical, athletic, and have multiple guys that can score the ball. When we guard, we’re a championship contender in this league.”

He did see some opportunities for improvement though.

“We have to continue to clean up our execution and maturity as a team. You put up a first half like that against a top team, you’re gonna find yourself down 12,” he said.

Georgetown is a young team. They’re also a turnstile defensively, allowing 80+ points in seven of their last eight games. But Aminu Mohammed has lived up to his preseason Big East Rookie of the Year status, and any double-digit victory in the Big East should be celebrated, especially when they cover the KenPom spread.

Next up, the Huskies head to Chicago to face DePaul on Saturday, Jan. 29 at 6:30 p.m. ET in a game that will be televised on FS1.