UConn basketball

Ryan Daly scores 30 and St. Joe's holds off UConn on the road

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AP Images/Stephen Dunn

Ryan Daly scores 30 and St. Joe's holds off UConn on the road

BOX SCORE 

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.

Big picture 

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.

Up next 

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.

Shizz Alston's career night vs. UConn helps keep Temple's NCAA tournament at-large hopes alive

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USA Today Images/David Butler II

Shizz Alston's career night vs. UConn helps keep Temple's NCAA tournament at-large hopes alive

BOX SCORE 

STORRS, Conn. — Shizz Alston Jr. told himself he wasn't going to let Temple's NCAA tournament bubble burst against UConn.

The senior scored a career-high 34 points, leading the Owls back from a six-point second-half deficit to a 78-71 road win on Thursday and keeping their hopes alive for an at-large tournament berth.

Alston hit 12 of his 14 shots from the floor and was 4 of 5 from behind the arc for Temple (22-8, 12-5 American), which had beaten the Huskies by 18 points in Philadelphia in January.

"I just wasn't going to let us lose," Alston said. "I knew if we kept pace with them, we could pull it out in the end, but I never wanted them to get separation, because they're a dangerous home team."

Quinton Rose added 20 points for Temple, which secured a bye in the first round of next week's conference tournament.

Christian Vital had 26 points off the bench for UConn (14-16, 5-12), which lost for the first time this season at Gampel Pavilion. Josh Carlton added 21 points in a losing effort.

UConn trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half, but came back to take its first lead five minutes into the second half on a long 3-pointer from Tyler Polley.

Carlton brought the crowd to its feet with a dunk off a spin move, part of a run that saw UConn go up 53-47.

The Huskies led 58-56 when Alterique Gilbert, their point guard, took an elbow to the face and had to be taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Vital said that took the air out of both the team and the arena.

"He's one of our best players," Vital said. "Clearly, whenever you have one of your better players go down, it's going to disrupt the team, especially in the second half. We had our flow going."

A steal and dunk from Alston put Temple up 65-60 and the Owls hit their free throws down the stretch to hang on.

"He made some big, big baskets tonight," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy, who was coaching his final regular-season road game. "He's not a dunker, but I'm sure he felt he had great legs about him on that play."

Big picture 
Temple: The Owls have won five of their last six to join Houston, Cincinnati and UCF with tournament byes.

UConn: The Huskies finish the regular-season 8-1 at Gampel Pavilion. They are 6-15 on all other courts. UConn will have to win this weekend and take at least two games in the conference tournament to avoid a third straight losing season.

"This is what it should look like in year one of what we've gotta do around here, rebuild this thing," said UConn coach Dan Hurley.

Stats of the night 
Temple shot 49 percent from the floor, hit 7 of 12 shots from 3-point range and made 17 of 20 free throws.

Moving up the charts 
Alston's four 3-pointers gives him 89 this season, tying him with Mike Vreeswyk for fifth place on the program's single-season list. His 589 points this season ranks 20th in program history.

Better from distance 
The Huskies, who missed all 15 shots from behind the arc against USF on Sunday, missed their first two in this one. The streak ended with a long 3-pointer from Christian Vital that gave UConn its first points. He ended up hitting seven of 11 3-point shots and the team was 10 of 29 from long distance.

Up next 
Temple: The Owls close the regular season at home on Saturday with a showdown against UCF, which came into Thursday 12-4 in the conference.

UConn: UConn wraps up the season at East Carolina on Sunday.

Temple jumps all over UConn for convincing AAC win

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USA Today Images

Temple jumps all over UConn for convincing AAC win

BOX SCORE

A fast start helped Temple rout UConn.

Shizz Alston Jr. had 18 points and Nate Pierre-Louis scored 12 of his 17 points in Temple's dominating first half to lead the Owls to an 81-63 victory over UConn on Wednesday.

Justyn Hamilton added 13 points for the Owls (17-6, 7-3 American Athletic Conference).

Temple made its first six shots and just kept on hitting. The Owls sank 10 of 11 to take a 25-10 lead, 13 of 16 to go in front 33-14 and entered the break ahead 46-20, setting a season-high for points in the first half.

"The hoop was looking real big for us early," Alston said. "A lot of different guys were scoring."

Temple made 18 of 29 field goals and 5 of 11 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes.

"It looks like you know what you're doing when you make shots," Owls coach Fran Dunphy said. "Everybody participated. It looked like it was our night."

The Huskies never got close in the second half, and the most excitement came with 16:20 remaining when Pierre-Louis finished a breakaway with a windmill dunk.

Josh Carlton and Christian Vital had 18 points apiece to pace UConn (13-10, 4-6).

Huskies coach Danny Hurley bemoaned his team's play at the outset.

"We just were not ready to go," Hurley said. "They were able to get comfortable and confident."

"If we were a really good team, we'd get off to better starts," Hurley added. "But we're not a really good team. We got our butts kicked by a team that outclassed us today."

Big picture

UConn: The Huskies are continuing their rebuild under first-year coach Hurley. If Adams is out for any substantial time, it will hurt in the near term. However, the opportunity given to younger backcourt players could prove beneficial in the long term.

Temple: With eight regular-season games remaining, the Owls are on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament in Dunphy's final season at the helm. They will have to avoid hiccups in conference play, with a season-ending home game against Central Florida on March 9 looming as a potentially important contest should Temple continue winning.

Adams injured

The Huskies lost leading scorer Jalen Adams for the game to a left knee injury 5:54 into the contest when Temple's J.P. Moorman II fell on Adams' leg in a scramble near the basket. Adams tried to walk to the bench but couldn't put pressure on his leg and had to be helped to the locker room by a teammate.

Adams, who entered averaging 17.7 points per game, returned to the court after being benched for insubordination by Hurley for the final 18 minutes of the Huskies' 76-52 victory over East Carolina on Sunday.

Hurley said the injury was to Adams' MCL, but the coach didn't know the severity of it. Adams will have an MRI on Thursday.

Road woes

UConn dropped to 0-5 in true road games.

Trainer's room

UConn: Alterique Gilbert missed his third straight contest with a shoulder injury. Gilbert, who started all 20 games before getting hurt and entered third on the team in scoring (13.0 ppg), had three surgeries on his shoulder that cost him all but nine games over his first two seasons.

Temple: The Owls played without leading rebounder Ernest Aflakpui, who sat as a precaution because of a left knee injury. A 6-foot-10 senior, Aflakpui started every game this season entering Wednesday and is averaging 6.4 points and 7.0 rebounds. Dunphy said afterward that Aflakpui could have played if needed.

Up next

UConn: At Memphis Sunday.

Temple: At Tulsa Saturday.