Even though they blew out the Central Florida Knights earlier in the season, this was not a game that the UConn Huskies men's basketball team could take lightly. It's the final month of the season and every game counts.
And with some of the teams in the new conference not having a strong RPI, a loss could devastating to a team with NCAA aspirations.
While they were challenged on Sunday night, UConn held off a strong charge from UCF in a 75-55 win at CFE Arena in Orlando, FL.
The Huskies improve to 18-5 (6-4 American) while UCF falls to 9-12 (1-9).
Lasan Kromah and Shabazz Napier led the way for UConn with 17 points and seven rebounds. Napier also added six assists. DeAndre Daniels returned to the lineup after missing time with back spasms and added 16 points and seven rebounds.
Behind the strength of two runs, a 9-0 and 10-0 run, UConn built up a big lead in the first half. However in the second half, UCF tried to make it a game.
With the Huskies leading by 18 points, McBride put the team on his big frame and helped cut the lead to eight points. But Napier picked Brandon Goodwin's pocket twice to score four points, two on a layup and two on free throws, and the Knights never got closer than 12 the rest of the way.
Good road win for UConn. When they faced adversity, they were able to pull together. They'll need to continue to do that going forward.
The Huskies are back in action on Wednesday night when they'll host the South Florida Bulls at the XL Center. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.
photo credit: david manning – usa today sports