STORRS, Conn. - University of Connecticut senior guard Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) scored 23 points and UConn snapped a two-game losing streak with a 65-52 win over East Carolina Wednesday night at Gampel Pavilion. The Huskies improved to 12-9 overall and 5-4 in American Athletic play with the victory.
The senior guard made a career-best seven 3-point shots. His other two points came from the foul line and he finished 7 of 13 from the field.
B.J. Tyson had 20 points to lead East Carolina (9-13, 2-7), which was coming off a 50-46 win over Cincinnati but has now lost four of its last five. Caleb White chipped in with 11 points.
The defending national champions trailed by 10 points late in the first half, but went on a 17-0 run into the second half to take a 41-34 lead. They used another 17-0 second-half run to take a 60-44 lead and put the game away.
East Carolina was held scoreless for the first six minutes of the second half and more than seven minutes during the Huskies' second run.
The Pirates made 8 of their 13 attempts from behind the arc in the first half and shot better than 54 percent from the floor. But UConn held them to 33 percent shooting after intermission.
East Carolina's Michel-Ofik Nzege picked up two of four early Pirate fouls called underneath for pushing Huskies 7-foot center Amida Brimah (Accra, Ghana) as he attempted to get position for lob passes.
They kept Brimah from scoring until the second half, and the Huskies continued what has become a pattern of slow starts. UConn hit just two of their first 10 shots from the floor and ECU jumped out to an early 13-6 lead.
The Huskies used an 11-3 run to go ahead 17-16, capped when sophomore forward Kentan Facey (Trelawny, Jamaica) rebounded a missed free throw by sophomore guard Terrence Samuel (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and laid the ball in.
East Carolina trailed 22-20 before a pair of 3-pointers by White sparked a 14-2 run. UConn cut the deficit to 34-27 when Boatright made a 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer.
East Carolina: The Pirates are winless on the road this year, losing their previous seven road contests by an average of 18.4 points
UConn: This was the 13th time this season that the defending national champions trailed at intermission. They are now 4-9 in those games.
UConn: The Huskies head back on the road, traveling to New Orleans to face Tulane on Saturday.