Storrs, Conn. — LIU men’s basketball got a taste of playing one of the top programs in the country and they got schooled real quickly by the Huskies.
The Sharks took a huge 114-61 loss against No. 5 UConn at the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion and moved to 1-8 overall. LIU, also dropped a game against the Huskies on Nov. 17, 2021, 93-40.
The Huskies (11-0) dominated from the very start of the game as they scored their most points in a game without an overtime in 17 years — since a 129-61 win over Morehead State on Dec. 23, 2005.
“You know it’s hard to do historical things in a place with all this history,” UConn Coach Dan Hurley said. “So to be the sixth team to get through the nonconference undefeated is a great accomplishment for the group. I’m proud of what they’ve done and excited to get to Big East play.”
UConn shot 62.5 percent overall and 43.8 percent from downtown as a team and dominated the glass, 41-24. Led by Donovan Clingan, the Huskies got 47 points off the bench.
LIU was shorthanded they were without Jake Cook, Amadou Fall, Marko Maletic, Andre Washington, Tre’ Wood and that killed the Sharks down the stretch.
The Sharks trailed 62-27 at the break and struggled to defend on the blocks, outscored 36-14 in the paint in the first half.
One of the bright spots for LIU was Jacob Johnson on the offensive end. He scored 19 points on 6-12 shooting, a game after he was perfect (12-12) from the free throw line vs. UMass Lowell on Monday.
The second half, the Huskies sped the game up and was never threatened.
“They are just so efficient on both ends of the court,” LIU Coach Rod Strickland said. “They are tough, they have shooters, they have bigs. They are obviously in contention for a Big East title.”
Five Huskies scored in double figures, led by 22 points by Hawkins, including a career-high six three-pointers, and a career-high 21 by freshman center Donovan Clingan, who went 10-of-10 from the floor and completed his second double-double of the season with 11 boards.
Alex Karaban also had a career-high with 19 points, while Adama Sanogo had 16 and Nahiem Alleyne chipped in 11 points.
Clingan’s 10-of-10 performance from the floor equaled Kirk King (1/3/96 vs. Providence) for second-best field goal percentage in a game. The UConn record is held by Amida Brimah, who went 13-of-13 (12/14/14) against Coppin State.
“Our guards were doing a good job of driving the ball in the paint, my man stepped up and allowed me to get the step-in dunk,” Clingan said. “I’m just trying to position myself in the best places on the court.”
As a team, the Sharks finished shooting 42% from the field and 22% from three-point range. They were 15-24 from the free throw line.
LIU R.J. Greene finished with 17 points and was 5-8 from the charity stripe. Quion Burns chipped in 11 and grabbed seven rebounds.
LIU returns to action on Dec. 14 at UAlbany. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.
Uconn will be travel to Indiana to play Butler Dec. 17.