UConn beats Fordham with big first half
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Ryan Boatright scored a career-high 26 points and added nine assists as Connecticut routed Fordham, 88-73, Friday night.
The Huskies (9-2) used a suffocating defense to force 21 Fordham turnovers while making 15 steals. They scored 35 points off turnovers while amassing their highest point total of the season.
The Huskies shot 50.8 percent (31 of 61) from the floor, including 8 of 21 from 3-point range, in winning their third straight game since losing to North Carolina State in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.
Shabazz Napier added 19 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals for Connecticut and Omar Calhoun had 17 points. The Huskies scored 57 first-half points and led by as many as 32 in a game they never trailed.
Branden Frazier led the Rams (2-9) with 26 points.
A 19-0 run by the Rams early in the second half cut the Huskies' 32-point lead to 13 points, 63-50, with just over 12 minutes to play. An R.J. Evans layup and then a Boatright steal and layup with 11:49 remaining stopped the bleeding for Connecticut.
Fordham would get no closer than 13 the rest of the way, and a Tyler Olander layup and back-to-back jumpers by DeAndre Daniels (10 points) pushed Connecticut's lead back up to 73-54.
Connecticut got another stellar game from its three-guard backcourt as Boatright, Napier and Calhoun picked Fordham apart, combining for 62 of the Huskies' points.
Boatright scored nine points in the first five minutes on 4-of-6 shooting, pacing the Huskies to an 18-15 lead.
The Huskies increased their defensive pressure over the next three minutes and pulled away with an 11-0 run, capped by Evans' 3-pointer from the left corner for a 29-15 lead with 8:57 left in the half. Connecticut would go on a 39-13 run over the final 12 minutes of the half to take a commanding 57-28 lead at the break.
The Huskies played their best first half of the year, scoring 21 points off 13 Fordham turnovers, including 11 steals.
Boatright scored 20 points and added seven assists in the first half on 7-of-11 shooting. Calhoun scored 13 first-half points, including three 3-pointers.
Connecticut shot 8 of 16 from 3-point range in the first half and had 16 assists on 21 baskets.