Huskies Blow Out DePaul; No. 1 Ranking May Be Next

Jerome Dyson scored 18 points and No. 2 Connecticut won its eighth straight, beating struggling DePaul 71-49 on Wednesday night.

The Huskies (19-1, 8-1 Big East) built a 14-point lead in the first half, only to watch it dwindle to six at the break. No problem. They started the second half with a 10-3 run to make it 51-38, sending the Blue Demons (8-13, 0-8) to their eighth straight loss and keeping them winless in conference play.

Now, with No. 1 Duke losing to Wake Forest, UConn could grab the top ranking -- assuming there's no letdown against Providence on Saturday.

There certainly wasn't one against DePaul. The Huskies were simply too quick and too deep for the Blue Demons.

Back-to-back baskets by Price and Dyson boosted the lead to 49-37 about 5 minutes into the second half, and that was enough for UConn.

Dyson led four Huskies in double figures, with A.J. Price and Jeff Adrien scoring 12 apiece and Hasheem Thabeet adding 11. Adrien also grabbed 13 rebounds after pulling down 19 in an eight-point win at Notre Dame on Saturday night.

Dar Tucker scored 20 for DePaul, which is off to its worst conference start since the 1995-96 team dropped its first 12 Conference USA games. A few flourishes aside, DePaul did not look like it was in Connecticut's league, even if it joined the Big East in 2005-06.

DePaul, which won 20 games two years ago, continues to sputter after going 11-19 last season. The Blue Demons got off to a mildly promising 8-5 start, but the current skid wiped away any good feelings that created.

And they were overmatched by UConn, a team that has given them fits.

UConn needed to rally from 13 down to win by five in Hartford last year and lost by eight at Allstate Arena two years ago, but there was little drama this time.

The Huskies looked like they were ready to pull away in the first half, when Price made a 3-pointer from the corner with 5:42 left. That capped a 15-4 run and made it 34-20 with about 5:40 remaining, but instead of going quietly, the Blue Demons rallied.

Tucker, who scored 15 points in the first half, woke up the crowd when he slammed in a 360 degree breakaway dunk late in the half. And Mac Koshwal kept the roars going when he stole a pass, dribbled upcourt, spun and handed off to Tucker for a layup that pulled the Blue Demons within 37-30. Tucker also made a long 3-pointer from the wing with 10 seconds left to make it 41-35 at the break.

That run aside, this game belonged to UConn. The Huskies dominated on the boards, outrebounding DePaul 37-23, and shot 47.4 percent.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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