Jalen Adams scores 20 as UConn cruises past USF, 81-60

Connecticut's Jalen Adams (2) is defended by East Carolina's Elijah Hughes (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Stephen Dunn)

TAMPA, Fla. — Jalen Adams scored 20 points and matched a career-high with 12 assists to lead Connecticut to an 81-60 American Athletic Conference victory over South Florida on Wednesday night.

The Huskies (9-11, 4-4) pulled away for good during a 23-9 run over a nine-minute stretch of the second half. Christian Vital finished with 17 points and Rodney Purvis had 14.

USF (6-13, 0-8), which has lost eight straight, rallied from an early 10-point deficit to lead 44-43 before Vance Jackson made a pair of free throws and followed with a long 3-pointer to begin UConn’s decisive surge.

The Huskies played just six players, and five of them finished in double-figures scoring. Jackson and Kentan Facey each had 12 points, and UConn shot a season-best 60 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, going 12 for 20.

Troy Holston led USF with 15 points. Michael Bibby added 14 and Tulio Da Silva had 12 for the Bulls, who kept it close for a while with some 3-point shooting of their own.

BIG PICTURE

UConn: The Huskies have won four of six, two straight coming off consecutive road losses at Georgetown and SMU. Adams had his fourth double-double of the season, and Vital gave them a spark by making five of six 3-point shots. UConn improved to 17-2 all-time against USF.

USF: The Bulls have yet to win since former coach Orlando Antigua was fired on Jan. 3. The average margin of defeat in six games under interim coach Murry Bartow is 15.8. Despite using the 3-point shot to hang in the game, USF finished 9 of 24 (37.5 percent) from behind the arc.

UP NEXT

UConn: Returns home to face Tulane on Saturday. The Green Wave’s lone conference victory in over USF.

USF: Travels to No. 19 Cincinnati on Sunday. The Bearcats are just the second ranked opponent the Bulls have faced this season, joining South Carolina.

More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25.

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