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Temple coach Fran Dunphy pretty much summed up Tuesday’s game.
“They played well and we did not,” Dunphy said.
UConn easily rolled to a 90-66 win in American Athletic Conference action at the XL Center in Hartford.
The Huskies (15-4, 3-3) were clearly the superior team despite playing without starting guard Ryan Boatright who was home in Aurora,Ill., attending his cousin’s funeral.
Junior DeAndre Daniels scored a career-high 31 points and senior Shabazz Napier had 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Here’s a post-game breakdown and video:
-- Check out the attached video of coach Kevin Ollie’s press conference.
-- Temple showed little interest in playing defense. The Owls were slow to find UConn’s open shooters.
The Huskies cashed in, reaching the 90-point mark for the third time this season and first time since beating Maine, 95-68, on Dec. 6. They shot 53.4 percent from the field and 52.2 percent (12-for-23) from 3-point range.
-- The Owls also are a poor rebounding team. And the Huskies took charge, tying the largest advantage in the rebounding department (45-25) in Ollie’s two seasons as head coach.
Anthony Lee, the league’s leading rebounder at 9.9 per game, had zero rebounds in 29 minutes.
Daniels had a game-high 12 rebounds and graduate student Lasan Kromah added a season-high eight.
“It was a team effort,” Daniels said. “Everybody was going in and rebounding and I felt that was what got us going. When we rebound and just play our game, we get easy buckets, fast breaks, and get into the offense more easily.”
The Huskies improved to 9-0 when out-rebounding an opponent.
-- Napier was in a scoring mood on Tuesday. He would have had more points if not for sitting out the last seven minutes, 52 seconds of the first half with two fouls.
"I felt like if he didn't get those two fouls early he would have gone for 50 points," Daniels said.
Napier tied a season high with five 3-pointers.
In the last three games, he’s averaged 24.7 points. He also moved into fourth place on the all-time assist list at UConn with 564, passing Doron Sheffer.
“He had a great game,” Ollie said. “He set the tone. … Bazz ran the show.”
-- Senior Niels Giffey started in place of Boatright and finished with 11 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists. It was his first double figure scoring game since finishing with 13 against Eastern Washington on Dec. 28.
-- With Boatright out, freshman Terrence Samuel played double digit minutes for just the third time this season. He had two points, two rebounds, two assists and two turnovers in 15 minutes. Kromah also saw some action at point guard.
Boatright will be back in time for Saturday night’s game at Rutgers(8-11, 2-4).
-- Ollie on bouncing back from Saturday’s loss to Louisville: “I did want to make sure that we defended our house. I don’t think we did that against Louisville. Louisville knocked us out and we didn’t really give ourselves a chance in the ring.
“Tonight, we were in the middle of the ring and we were fighting.”
-- Dunphy on Daniels: “We didn’t do a very good job on Daniels. I thought he hurt us greatly. … We missed a couple of switches on him and he made us pay for that.”
-- Temple had just nine players in uniform. Junior Will Cummings returned to action after sitting out the last two games recovering from an injury. He finished with a team-high 20 points.
-- The Huskies had 15 assists after tying a season low with just seven against Louisville Saturday. Their ball movement vastly improved.
-- Considering the miserable weather outside, there was a decent turnout for the game. The crowd was announced at 4,741.
Today’s American Athletic Conference Championship semifinal doubleheader is underway here at the XL Center in Hartford. A crowd in the 12,000-13,000 range is expected for the UConn-Tulsa game. Tip-off time is 5 p.m.