PHILADELPHIA — The first time Connecticut and the Temple Owls played this year, the Huskies put on an offensive show.
Take two featured an impressive performance on the other end of the court.
UConn flirted with holding Temple under 30 percent from the floor, overcoming a rough night of its own on the offensive end in a 68-55 victory Thursday night at the Liacouras Center .
Temple senior guard Dalton Pepper and sophomore wing Quenton DeCosey combined for 27 points but shot a combined 9-of-33 from the floor as the Huskies clamped down on defense. The Owls certainly struggled from the field, making just 33.9 percent (19-of-56) overall.
It was the 14th game this season in which UConn held an opponent below 40 percent from the field, including three times in their last four games.
Temple, which dresses just eight scholarship players, was also bothered by foul difficulties all evening. Starting point guard Will Cummings was limited to 26 minutes as he finished with four fouls, and backup point guard Josh Brown went scoreless in 20 minutes off the bench.
UConn had four players in double figures, led by senior guard Shabazz Napier, who overcame a rough first half (two points) to finish with 17 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. Junior guard Ryan Boatright had nine of his 14 in the first half, while junior forward DeAndre Daniels (13 points) and freshman center Amida Briham (10 points) also chipped in on the offensive end.
Early on it looked promising for Temple, as 3-pointers by Pepper and freshman forward Mark Williams gave the Owls a 15-8 lead against the visiting Huskies.
Boatright, who did not play in the first matchup between the teams, got the Huskies going with several impressive plays. A step-back 3-pointer to beat out the shot clock and a nice feed to Daniels for a slam were part of an 11-0 run that put UConn up 23-18 with under six minutes left in the half.
They would take a 33-25 lead into the locker rooms and would not trail the remainder of the contest.
NOTES: Temple played its third game in a row against a team ranked in the top 25, and it has games against No. 24 Memphis and No. 11 Louisville up next. If Memphis remains in the top 25, Temple would play five consecutive games against ranked opponents for the first time in program history. … Connecticut senior G Shabazz Napier was named the AAC Player of the Week after averaging 20.5 points and five rebounds in two wins last week. It was his fourth such honor this season. … Temple junior F Anthony Lee returned to the starting lineup after missing the previous game, a win over SMU. He was injured in a loss to Louisville. … Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie played in Philadelphia as a member of the NBA’s 76ers during parts of six seasons between 1999-2001 and 2004-08.
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