STORRS, Conn. (AP) — UConn guard Rodney Purvis says the Huskies came out in the second half Wednesday wanting to throw the first punch.
They landed that blow and a number of others during a 33-2 run that turned a 10-point game at halftime into a 97-51 rout of South Florida.
Purvis scored 23 points and UConn made a school-record 16 shots from 3-point range. Jalen Adams added 18 points and 10 assists and Steven Enoch came off the bench to score 15 points for the Huskies ( 11-12, 6-5 American), who won for the fourth time in five games.
UConn opened the game with a 17-1 run and scored the first 17 points of the second half to put the game away.
“We just wanted to get out, throw that first punch, get out early on and continue to play with that same energy that got us the lead,” Purvis said.
The Huskies made 10 of their 12 attempts from behind the arc in the second half. Purvis was 6 of 9 from 3-point range for the game and Adams was 6 of 8.
The Huskies shot 62.5 percent from the floor, despite throwing up 24 shots from behind the arc.
“Coach doesn’t really like us to take a lot of 3s, he prefers that we get to the rim,” Adams said. “But tonight they were falling, so we had to shoot them.”
Geno Thorpe had 11 points to lead USF (6-17, 0-12), which doesn’t have a conference win and has lost 12 consecutive games.
Adams opened the game with a 3-pointer from the right baseline and the Huskies held South Florida without a field goal for the first six minutes of the game.
During that stretch, the UConn outrebounded USF 10-1 and hit seven of its 10 shots from the floor.
UConn stretched the lead to 24-4 on a 3-pointer by Purvis with nine minutes left in the first half.
USF used a 15-3 run to cut a 28-10 UConn lead to 31-25 after a steal, dunk and two free throws from Thorpe on consecutive possessions.
But, Purvis hit a 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer pushed the lead back to 10 at 40-30. He had 14 points at intermission hit two more 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the second half.
South Florida: The Bulls shot just 32 percent from the floor after shooting 52 percent in their previous two games. This was their lowest scoring output of the year.
“We’ve been in most every game we’ve played,” said interim head coach Murray Bartow. “But tonight the second half kind of got away from us, so I’m pretty disappointed right now.”
UConn: Enoch had the best scoring night of his UConn career, despite playing his first significant minutes since suffering a foot injury that kept him out four games. His return and that of forward Juwan Durham, who also is coming back from injury, give the Huskies eight men in their rotation. Durham finished with eight points.
UConn’s previous record for 3-pointers was 15, set against the University of Hartford in 1997. The 16 3s also tied an American Athletic Conference record. UConn’s 28 assists were a school record in AAC play.
BRIMAH COMES UP BIG
The outside barrage overshadowed another good game from UConn’s 7-foot center Amida Brimah. He scored 12 points, hitting all four of his shots (three dunks and a tip-in), pulled down eight rebounds and blocked four shots, giving him 68 for the season.
South Florida: The Bulls head home to host East Carolina on Saturday and conference-leading Cincinnati next Wednesday.
UConn: The Huskies will look to reach the .500 mark for the first time this season when they travel to Florida for a game against UCF on Saturday.