HARTFORD, Conn. - University of Connecticut senior guard Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) scored a career-high 28 points, 19 in the second half, as UConn beat South Florida, 66-53, in front of a crowd of 14,105 at the XL Center Sunday. The Huskies improved to 11-7 overall and 4-2 in league play with the win, while the Bulls now sit at 7-13 this year and 1-6 in conference action.
Redshirt sophomore guard Rodney Purvis (Raleigh, N.C.) added 17 for the UConn, which beat the Bulls for the second time this month.
Nehemias Morillo had a career-high 18 for South Florida, which lost for the fifth straight time, a streak that began with a 58-44 loss to the Huskies in Tampa. Corey Allen Jr. added 11.
Connecticut led by 10 points at halftime and by 12 early in the second half. But the Bulls used a 9-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Anthony Collins, to get back into the game.
South Florida had a chance to tie trailing 39-37 with 12 minutes left. But UConn sophomore center Amida Brimah (Accra, Ghana) blocked a layup attempt by Allen and the Bulls would not get that close again.
Purvis made a pair of free throws on the other end and then Boatright took over, scoring the Huskies' next 13 points. His second 3-pointer during the stretch put the Huskies ahead 54-43.
The team's combined for 41 fouls, 23 of them by the Bulls whose big men spent much of the game in foul trouble. Collins fouled out and Bo Zeigler picked up his fourth foul just two minutes into the second half and played just 23 minutes.
UConn made 22 of its 29 foul shots. Boatright hit 10 of his 11 attempts from the line and Purvis was 8 of 12. USF was 10 of 16 from the line.
The Huskies outrebounded the Bulls 35-18 and shot 46 percent from the floor.
UConn, which fell behind by seven points in the teams' first meeting, had a better start in this one. The Huskies used an 11-1 run to take an early 18-9 lead.
South Florida managed just six field goals in the first half and the teams combined for just 15 before intermission, getting everything else from the free-throw line.
The Huskies improved to 7-3 at home this season and 4-1 in Hartford.
Boatright moved up the school's all-time scoring list. He now has 1,491 career points, passing Kevin Freeman (1,476) for 18th place. Freeman is now the school's director of basketball administration.
UConn travels to Ohio next for a game with Cincinnati on Thursday night. The game, which can be seen on ESPN, tips off at 8 p.m. ET.
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