HARTFORD, Conn. (AP)No. 14 UConn, which started its season with 14 straight wins, is rolling again as the postseason approaches.
Adama Sanogo scored 26 points to lead five Connecticut players in double figures and the Huskies closed out their home schedule in emphatic style Wednesday night with an 88-59 win over DePaul.
Andre Jackson filled up the stat sheet for UConn (23-7, 12-7 Big East) with 11 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Tristen Newton added 12 points for the Huskies, who have won four straight and seven of eight.
“The last couple years, our March was not good,” Sanogo said, referring to the Huskies’ two first-round losses in the NCAA Tournament. “So this year we’ve got to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes. This is the time for us to go to work again.”
Alex Karaban had 11 points for UConn and fellow freshman Donovan Clingan chipped in with 10.
Nick Ongenda tied a career high with 17 points for DePaul (9-21, 3-16), which has lost 11 in a row. Ongenda was playing just his fifth game of the season after recovering from wrist surgery.
“He’s definitely going to be able to help us,” coach Tony Stubblefield said. “The more games he plays, I think he’s going to be impactful for us down the road.”
Javan Johnson added 10 points for the Blue Demons.
UConn put the game away early, opening on a 29-2 run that was capped by a huge slam from Clingan. The Huskies held DePaul to 1-of-13 shooting over the first nine minutes.
Connecticut took its first 30-point lead at 38-8 on a 3-pointer by Jordan Hawkins and pushed the lead to 34 before going into halftime up 51-19.
The Huskies had 24 assists on 35 baskets and outscored DePaul 46-26 in the paint.
“I think this team has got a really good confidence to them,” coach Dan Hurley said. “I think we got some personalities in here. We’ve got some gunslingers on the perimeter that are going to let it fly and let it rip. Then we’ve got some guys that can dominate at center. I just think it’s a great collection of guys.”
The Blue Demons shot 7 of 31 from the floor (23%) over the first 20 minutes, while the Huskies made 21 of 37 (57%). DePaul outscored UConn 40-37 in the second half, but was never in this one.
Hawkins, who came in averaging more than 17 points per game, hobbled to the bench with less than five minutes to play after twisting his right ankle. He finished with just three points on 1-of-9 shooting.
But Hurley said the injury does not appear serious and he expects Hawkins to participate in practice Thursday.
DePaul: The losing streak has come entirely against conference opponents and is the longest among Big East teams this season.
UConn: Finished 15-2 at home this season, including 7-1 at the XL Center in Hartford. … The Huskies will finish no lower than fifth in the Big East and already had clinched a first-round bye in the conference tournament at Madison Square Garden next week.
Samson Johnson, who started the season opener for UConn before an injury cost him the next 19 games, saw his first action since Feb. 4. He played seven minutes, pulling down one rebound. Hurley said Johnson is a talented player and hopes that giving him some “run” will help convince the sophomore to stay with the program.
UConn improved to 17-1 against DePaul, with the only loss coming in January 2007.
DePaul: Closes the regular season at home against Creighton on Saturday.
UConn: Completes the regular season Saturday night at Villanova.
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