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No. 5 UConn men’s basketball chomps Florida, 75-54

The Huskies made a statement in their first true road game.

NCAA Basketball: Connecticut at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

No. 5 UConn men’s basketball went to Gainesville and dominated Florida on Wednesday night, 75-54.

Donovan Clingan led the way for UConn (10-0) with 16 points and eight rebounds, adding a trio of blocks. Adama Sanogo grabbed 17 points and seven rebounds in just 20 minutes, while Jordan Hawkins (15 points) and Joey Calcaterra (11 points) were also in double figures.

The Gators came in as a top-50 offense according to KenPom’s adjusted efficiency metric, owning a No. 43 ranking. They did not show it in the first 20 minutes. Florida had 37 possessions, scored just 23 points and was 8-for-28 from the field.

UConn was a vacuum on the glass, grabbing 21 defensive rebounds. Andre Jackson led the way, with six of them, and Tristen Newton and Hawkins added three each. Calcaterra and Alex Karaban were the only players to not record a defensive board, but Calcaterra had one on the offensive end.

The domination on the glass prevented the hosts from getting extra opportunities, with just three second-chance points and two offensive rebounds. Florida was taking one shot per trip and Jackson, along with the rest of the defense, helped force a ton of low-quality shots.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, as UConn was just 3-10 from 3-point range and shot 42.4 percent from the field. The Huskies had a 13-point lead heading into the break, but with a more consistent offensive performance, it could have been larger. The visitors scored in spurts, but partially due to foul trouble from Karaban, who played four minutes, in addition to Sanogo and Clingan, who both were whistled twice, the offense was disjointed at times.

Florida came out and forced two early turnovers to begin the second half and brought it to just a 10-point deficit, but Karaban announced his arrival in the second half with a wing 3-pointer to help keep the Gators at arm’s length, with the deficit never getting back to single digits and reaching as high as 23.

The Huskies' offense also stepped up for a more consistent performance, led by Hawkins. The sophomore guard was 1-6 in the first 20 minutes but started 4-4 in the second half for nine points, getting around screens effectively and taking open shots. Sanogo added seven points, playing nine minutes and exiting with 7:03 to go after picking up his fourth foul and UConn up 18 following the free throws, though he did return inside three minutes to go for a brief time, adding an additional field goal.

The defense continued to be suffocating, helping UConn extend its lead when coupled with an 8-25 performance from the field for Florida. Through a 10-minute stretch, between 16:16 and 6:05, the Gators made just one field goal, shooting 1-for-11. UConn shot 9-13 over the same span, clinching the Huskies’ 10th straight double-digit win and became the first team in the country to 10 wins.

UConn returns to action on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. against LIU. FS1 will provide coverage from Gampel Pavilion.