Courtesy: Associated Press
STORRS, Conn. (WTNH)- UConn coach Kevin Ollie has been preaching to his team the benefits of an unselfish offense and a relentless defense.
The Huskies are listening.
Shonn Miller and Rodney Purvis led five UConn players in double figures with 16 points each and the Huskies beat East Carolina 85-67 on Sunday to pick up their third consecutive win and sixth in their last seven games.
Daniel Hamilton filled up the scoresheet again, scoring 12 points, grabbing 16 rebounds and dishing out five assists. Jalen Adams added 14 points for UConn (17-6, 7-3 American Athletic).
“We’re just playing more for each other,” Hamilton said. “Everybody’s going to get theirs if we just play for each other and care for one another.”
Prince Williams scored 21 points to lead East Carolina (10-13, 2-8), which lost its second straight game.
UConn used a 9-0 run early in the second half to take its lead from 48-44 to 57-44 in just over two minutes. A 3-pointer by Sterling Gibbs a short time later made it 65-47 and another made it 70-49 midway through the second half, putting the Huskies in control. Gibbs finished with 12 points.
The Huskies outscored ECU 50-22 in the paint.
“I told the guys I don’t want to come in and see 30 3s and all that stuff, let’s take it to the rim, let’s challenge them,” Ollie said.
Hamilton scored 10 points in the second half. It was his sixth double-double of the season and the 11th of his career.
He failed to reach double figures in five of UConn’s previous nine games, but had 16 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists against Memphis on Thursday
The freshman Adams, who has emerged to become UConn’s starting point guard, had 10 of the Huskies’ first 24 points. He and Miller each had 12 points in the first half, when the Huskies shot 65.4 percent from the field.
Adams hit seven of his eight shots. UConn hit 11 of their first 12 shots from inside the arc and seven different Huskies scored before intermission.
“We just make that extra pass,” Adams said. “If we do that, the ball is going to find the open guy and then we just keep rolling.”
B.J. Tyson opened the game with a 3-pointer for East Carolina, but it was Williams’ shooting that kept the Pirates in the game in the first half. He hit four of his eight shots and was 3 of 4 from 3-point range.
Tyson finished with 11 points.
UConn went on a late 7-0 run before Kentan Facey was called for a personal foul and Philip Nolan was hit with a technical just before the halftime buzzer. Kentrell Barkley and Williams each made 1 of 2 foul shots and the Huskies went into halftime leading 42-33.
Williams scored eight straight East Carolina points to cut the UConn lead to four early in the second half, before the Huskies went on their 22-5 run.
“They have such depth,” said East Carolina coach Jeff Lebo. “We executed our offensive well, but we just couldn’t put the ball in the basket and they have a lot of answers.”
East Carolina had won two of its last three games after losing its first six league games