University of Connecticut senior guard Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) scored 18 points with nine rebounds, guard
Rodney Purvis (Raleigh, N.C.) had 17 points and UConn rallied to down Tulane, 62-53, on the road Saturday. The Huskies, who snapped a four-game road losing streak, improved to 13-9 overall and 6-4 in American Athletic play with the win.
Trailing 44-39 with 6:40 left, Connecticut went on a 16-2 run to take control.
Purvis started the spurt with a 3-pointer. Freshman guard Daniel Hamilton (Los Angeles, Calif.) hit a jumper from the foul line to tie the score at 45. Boatright gave UConn the lead for good, 48-45, on a drive to the basket and free throw after being fouled with 4:40 left.
Purvis then drained another 3-pointer to make the score 53-46 with 2:57 left.
Louis Dabney had 13 points for Tulane (13-10, 4-7), which dropped its fifth in a row. Jay Hook added 11 points.
Tulane, which led 27-24 at the half, endured two long droughts in the second half, going more than five minutes early without scoring and failing to make a field goal for nearly six minutes after Dabney's 3-point play at the 6:49 mark.
UConn seven-foot sophomore center Amida Brimah (Accra, Ghana), who had blocked 18 shots in his last five games, had a career-high eight blocks and was dominant defensively in the first half.
He swatted away two shots on one possession, one at the rim and the second on the perimeter, leading to Purvis's transition layup.
A little later, he intimidated Tulane's Josh Hearlihy into passing the ball outside from under the basket. The Huskies intercepted it, and Brimah finished that fast break with an emphatic dunk.
Tulane still managed to take the lead by halftime, getting offense from unlikely sources as nine players scored but none had more than five points.
Hearlihy, a sophomore averaging 1.5 points, matched his career high with five points on a reverse layup and a long-range shot.
Reserve forward Payton Henson fed reserve guard Kajon Mack with a perfect bounce pass that led to a 3-point play. Freshman center Dylan Osetkowski scored a quick basket after an inbounds pass with one second left on the shot clock. Backup point guard Keith Pinckney cut to the basket along the baseline and scored off a nice pass from Henson.
But Tulane hit only 8 of 28 shots in the second half, finishing 18 of 55 from the floor.
UConn: This was the 14th time this season the defending national champions have trailed at the halftime. The
Huskies are now 5-9 in those games. . UConn hit 22 of 44 shots.
Tulane: Point guard Jonathan Stark, who led Conference USA in minutes played last season, sat out the last 13:11 of the first half with two fouls. The Green Wave used freshman Keith Pinckney, Louis Dabney and Josh Hearlihy to fill his minutes and outscored UConn 20-13 while Stark sat.
UConn: The Huskies host league-leading Tulsa on Thursday.
Tulane: The Green Wave travels to Cincinnati on Feb. 14.