STORRS, Conn. — Ryan Daly scored 30 points as St. Joseph’s held off the Huskies 96-87, on Wednesday night.
The Huskies dug themselves a 14-0 hole and looked completely out of sync in the first half of play.
Rahim Moore scored 22 points and Myles Douglas chipped in 18 points for the Hawks (2-1), who led by as many as 27 points in the first half and never trailed.
Christian Vital had 26 points for UConn (1-1) and Alterique Gilbert added 22 for the Huskies, who cut the deficit to three points in the second half before running out of gas.
St. Joseph opened the game with a 14-0 run. While UConn missed its first nine shots, St. Joe’s hit five of its first seven, including three of four from three-point range.
The Hawks were able to run their offense with little resistance and got comfortable in the paint area.
Gilbert stopped the onslaught for a moment with a Huskie’s first basket, a driving layup that came more than four minutes into the contest.
UConn is 6-3 all-time against the Hawks. This was the first meeting between the two schools since the first round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. UConn won that game 89-81 in overtime, beginning their run to a fourth national title.
St. Joseph’s made 13 of its 33 shots from 3-points range, but only 3 of 12 in the second half. The Hawks have put up 101 3-pointers in three games.
Poor decisions and defense down the stretch — a few costly turnovers — cost them the game. Gilbert and Vital had decent-looking numbers, they shot 5-of-21 and 5-of-19 from the field, respectively.
The Huskies will meet No. 15 Florida on Sunday and if UConn plays like it did today, it could be a long day for the old faithful UConn fans.