HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) UConn's Amida Brimah, who rarely faces an opponent bigger than he is, took Sunday's matchup with UCF's 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall as a personal challenge.
The Huskies' 7-foot senior center finished with nine points, six rebounds and five blocked shots in UConn's 64-49 win. He held Fall scoreless.
''I knew I had to go hard as soon as the ball went up on tipoff and had to be physical with him,'' Brimah said. ''I'm always ready to play against someone who is taller than me.''
The UCF sophomore, promoted by the school as one of the 40 tallest people in the world, came into the game shooting 80 percent from the floor. He had just one attempt from the field on Sunday and finished with just three rebounds. It was the second consecutive game he has been held without a point. East Carolina and its 7-1 center, Andre Washington, shut him down last week.
''He has to grow through these experiences,'' said UCF coach Johnny Dawkins. ''He's a sophomore who has played basketball for five years. He has a world of potential, but potential and that needs to be developed.''
UConn guard Rodney Purvis, who had been in a shooting slump, scored 17 points, Vance Jackson added 11 points and Jalen Adams had 10 for the Huskies (6-9, 1-3 American), who snapped a four-game losing streak.
B.J. Taylor had 18 points for UCF, which came in on a five-game winning streak and suffered its first conference loss. Taylor was playing just his second game after missing a month with a broken right thumb. He had seven of UCF's 17 field goals.
The Huskies led by 17 at halftime and by as many as 25 in the second half. UConn, which came into the game shooting 41 percent from the floor, shot 47.4 percent Sunday and held the Knights (12-4, 3-1) to 33.3 percent.
''Chris Paul didn't show up; James Harden didn't show up,'' said UConn coach Kevin Ollie. ''These are the same players. It's just, they started moving the basketball. This is what we've been preaching.''
The Huskies got off to a quick start. Purvis hit two 3-pointers from the left corner during a 10-0 opening run. His 3-pointer with just over 4 minutes left in the first half gave the Huskies a 31-12 lead. Purvis hit seven of his 13 shots.
''I think I've been waiting for those the whole entire season,'' Purvis said. ''I was happy to see the ball go in and my teammates finding me and just staying confident in myself.''
UConn led 35-18 at the half, holding the Knights to just six field goals and 21 percent shooting.
UCF: The Knights leave the snow and 20 degree weather in Hartford and head back home where they will face Houston on Saturday before a showdown with rival South Florida on Jan. 17.
UConn: The Huskies move back to campus for a home game Wednesday against Temple, then travel to Washington D.C. on Saturday to face former Big East rival Georgetown.
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