HARTFORD, Conn. — Ryan Boatright led the way with 19 points as UConn Huskies held off the New Hampshire Wildcats despite a cold-shooting night, 61-53 in men’s basketball action Thursday night.
New Hampshire was within four before UConn (6-1) ran off seven straight points — five by Omar Calhoun — to take a 57-46 lead with 1:43 left. The Wildcats responded with seven straight points of their own, but ran out of time.
Calhoun finished 16 points and DeAndre Daniels added seven points and 10 rebounds for the Huskies, who shot 36.8 percent from the field. UConn’s leading scorer Shabazz Napier was held to five points on 2-of-9 shooting.
Ferg Myrick recorded 20 points and Chris Pelcher added 16 points and 12 rebounds for New Hampshire (2-4), which has lost four straight.
New Hampshire was within 18-16 after a 3-pointer by Myrick with 8:38 left in the first half before UConn scored the next seven points. The Huskies held the Wildcats without a point for more than seven minutes and settled for a 25-18 lead, thanks to nine points from Boatright. The teams were 1-of-18 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Myrick scored 19 points against UConn in the last meeting two years ago. … UConn leads series 91-25 and has won seven straight. … UConn has won its first game in Hartford, at the Civic Center/XL Center, each of the last 25 seasons.
St. John’s 89, South Carolina 65: D’Angelo Harrison scored 26 points to lead the hot-shooting Red Storm to an easy win over the visiting Gamecocks in the SEC-Big East Challenge.
Amir Garrett had 16 points and 11 rebounds and Phil Greene IV chipped in 13 points for St. John’s (5-2), which shot 56.9 percent from the floor. Harrison was 8-for-13, Garrett 7-for-8 and Greene made his only two 3-point tries, part of a team-wide 7-for-14 effort from the arc.
Michael Carrera had 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Gamecocks (5-2). His tip-in less than four minutes in gave South Carolina its last lead at 6-5.
Harrison had the first four points of an 18-4 surge midway through the first half that helped the Red Storm carry a 12-point lead into the locker room. St. John’s advantage remained the same until Harrison hit a 3-pointer and Sampson had two free throws to make it 59-42 with 10:50 left.
The Red Storm continued to pour it on when Garrett scored to ignite a 10-2 burst moments later. The lead ballooned to 76-51 on Garrett’s three-point play with 5:19 left.
GAME NOTEBOOK: South Carolina did not shoot a free throw until nearly two minutes had elapsed in the second half. St. John’s had already taken 16. … Harrison has scored at least 20 points in six of seven games this season. … This was the first meeting between the two programs.
South Alabama 77, Florida Atlantic 66: South Alabama withstood Florida Atlantic’s opening salvo and rolled to a 77-66 victory men’s college basketball victory Thursday night in the Sun Belt Conference opener for both teams.
The Owls (2-4) took an early lead, but the visiting Jaguars (3-3) responded with a 13-0 run that turned a 10-6 deficit into a 19-10 advantage with about 12 minutes left in the first half.
The Jaguars had an 18-point cushion with three minutes left in the opening period but settled for a 44-33 lead at intermission.
The Owls pulled to within single digits about two minutes into the second half on senior guard Greg Gantt’s 3-pointer, making it 49-41. But that was as close as the Owls would come until the closing minutes.
FAU cut the deficit to seven points, 69-62, on a jumper by freshman Stefan Moody with 2:19 left, but it was back up to a 10-point game with 41 seconds to play.
Guard Xavier Roberson led four double-figure scorers for South Alabama with 23 points. Guard Freddie Goldstein had 15 and forwards Augustine Rubit and Javier Carter had 11 apiece.
Gantt matched his career high with 29 points, going 11-of-18 from the field, and Moody added 16 points for the Owls.