STORRS, Conn. — Ryan Daly scored 30 points as Saint Joseph’s held off UConn 96-87 on Wednesday night.
Rahim Moore added 22 points and Myles Douglas had 18 for the Hawks (2-1), who led by as many as 27-points in the first half and never trailed.
Christian Vital had 26 points for UConn (1-1) and Alterique Gilbert added 22 for the Huskies, who cut the deficit to three points in the second half before running out of gas.
The Hawks opened the game with a 14-0 run. While UConn missed its first nine shots, St. Joe’s hit five of its first seven, including three of four from 3-point range.
Gilbert paused the bleeding for a moment with UConn’s first basket, a driving layup that came more than four minutes into the game.
But a 3-pointer by Daly pushed St. Joe’s lead over 20-points at 34-12 midway through the first half and the Hawks extended that to 46-19. Daly had 21 points by halftime, hitting five of his first seven shots from 3-point range.
It was 54-38 at the break and 69-48 with 12 ½ minutes left.
UConn went to a pressing defense and quickly cut into that deficit, outscoring the Hawks 21-4 over the next four minutes. The run was capped by a driving layup from Vital that made it 73-69.
The Huskies got as close as 79-76 after two free throws from Vital. But Daly hit a 3-pointer on the other end and St. Joe’s outscored UConn 17-11 down the stretch.
UConn is 6-3 all-time against St. Joe’s. This was the first meeting between the two schools since the first round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. UConn won that game 89-81 in overtime, beginning their run to a fourth national title.
Saint Joseph’s made 13 of its 33 shots from 3-points range, but only 3 of 12 in the second half. The Hawks have put up 101 3-pointers in three games.
St. Joseph’s continues its three-game road swing with a trip to Loyola Chicago
It doesn’t get any easier for UConn, which wraps up its opening three-game campus homestand on Sunday with a game against No. 15 Florida.