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No. 14 UConn men’s basketball smacks DePaul, 88-59

The Huskies had little trouble as they captured the sweep over the Blue Demons.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

No. 14 UConn men’s basketball got rolling in a hurry and ran right over DePaul on Wednesday night, taking a 88-59 win at the XL Center in the Huskies’ penultimate regular season game.

Dan Hurley’s team missed its first three shots, but Adama Sanogo (26 points, five rebounds) got the lid off the basket and then DePaul converted on its third look to tie the game at 2-2.

That was the last time the game was competitive. UConn went on a 27-0 run over a 6:20 span. Andre Jackson (11 points, eight rebounds), who finished an assist and two rebounds short of a triple-double, got it started with a 3-pointer in rhythm and Donovan Clingan (10 points, four rebounds) had the final score, grabbing a big dunk. He was one of five UConn players in double-figures, along with Sanogo, Jackson, Tristen Newton and Alex Karaban, while Joey Calcaterra had nine on 3-5 shooting.

The Huskies shot 11-19 from the field in that span and were 4-8 from 3-point range, with a 3-4 performance from the line. Meanwhile, the Blue Demons missed 11 shots and two free throws, going nearly eight minutes between field goal makes.

UConn was dominating the pace of play, grabbing numerous offensive rebounds, forcing bad shots from DePaul, and scoring in transition. Even though Jordan Hawkins started 0-4 from the field and didn’t get on the board nearly 12 minutes into the half, he hit a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer from the right wing to put the Huskies up 30 points, which was his only make of the night.

It took DePaul 14:37 to break 10 points and 20:29 to reach the 20-point plateau.

After that stellar start, the Huskies kept it going and scored 1.42 points per possession and had 25 rebounds in the first half, including seven on the offensive glass, which led to a 43.8 percent offensive rebound rate. UConn had 17 assists on 21 made field goals and had just three turnovers.

On the other side, DePaul scored 0.54 points per possession, shooting 7-31 from the field, including 0-4 from beyond the arc, with just two assists. Turnovers weren’t terrible, with just six, but shot selection was tough and UConn didn’t allow very many easy shots. Nick Ongenda had nine of his team’s 19 points at the break.

The Huskies coasted through the second half. DePaul aggressed to the mean, with a field goal percentage at 48.3, but it was unable to get much closer as UConn continued its torrid offensive performance, albeit at a slower offensive pace, with just 27 shots from the field after taking 37 in the first half. The Huskies’ advantage swung between 26 and 33 throughout the second half, settling at 29 points when the final whistle blew.

UConn (23-7, 12-7 Big East) will close the regular season with a road contest with Villanova on Saturday. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on FOX.