Friday, January 31, 2014
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Connecticut 80, Houston 43

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[January 31, 2014]  STORRS, Conn.  Connecticut 80, Houston 43: Shabazz Napier turned in another strong performance with 19 points and seven rebounds as the Huskies avenged an earlier loss by thrashing the visiting Cougars.

Ryan Boatright added 15 points and four assists for Connecticut (17-4, 5-3 American Athletic Conference), which suffered a 75-71 loss at Houston in its AAC opener Dec. 31. Phillip Nolan chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench while Niels Giffey scored 10 as the Huskies won their third straight and sixth in the last seven games.

Danrad Knowles collected 10 points, eight rebounds and six blocks off the bench to lead the Cougars (11-10, 3-5), who shot 27.3 percent from the field. Leading scorer TaShawn Thomas was limited to four points on 2-of-7 shooting.

Connecticut took all the suspense out of the contest early, opening the game with an 18-3 run and spreading it out to 31-9 just past the midway point of the first half. Napier and Boatright each hit a 3-pointer during a 14-3 run that ended the half and sent the Huskies into the break up 51-22.


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Boatright and Giffey opened the second half with 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to spark a 10-2 run that pushed the advantage to 37 points. Connecticut emptied the bench down the stretch and Leon Tolksdorf hit a 3-pointer with just over four minutes left to make it an 80-40 cushion.

GAME NOTEBOOK: The Huskies were missing second-leading scorer and rebounder DeAndre Daniels due to a high ankle sprain. ... Connecticut C Amida Brimah had four of the team's 10 blocked shots. ... Houston has lost its last three road games by an average of 33 points.

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