Adams scores 25 to lead UConn over Temple 72-66
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — UConn forward Terry Larrier didn’t play and Jalen Adams didn’t play well when the Huskies lost to Temple by 28 points in Philadelphia a month ago.
Adams scored 25 points and dished out eight assists Wednesday night; Larrier added 13 points and UConn upset the Owls 72-66 in the Huskies final home game of the season.
Larrier’s presence on the wing kept Temple from clogging the lane, allowing Adams to play with more freedom than in the first meeting when scored just seven points.
“When the court opens for him, he’s great off the ball screen,” Larrier said. “He can get to the basket, he’s able to kick out and find guys. And that’s what he did tonight.”
Connecticut (14-16, 7-10 American), shot just 37 percent from the floor, but made 11 3-pointers and held Temple (16-13, 8-9) to 6-of-31 shooting from behind the arc.
Obi Enechionyia had 15 points to lead the Owls, who have lost three of four to fall a half game behind UCF into seventh place in the conference standings. Shizz Alston had 13 points, but made just five of his 15 attempts from the floor. Quinton Rose was 5 of 20 and had 11 points.
Temple led by two points at halftime, but UConn opened the second half with a 10-0 run to lead 42-34.
Temple, which shot 36 percent for the game, made just four of their first 20 shots after intermission.
“I’m sure that they felt pretty good that we were going to shoot that poorly from the 3-point line,” said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. “But we had so many opportunities at the rim that we couldn’t take advantage of.”
The Owls trailed 51-42 before going on a run of their own. A layup by freshman Nate Pierre-Louis tied the game at 56 with just over four minutes to play. But UConn did not relinquish the lead.
A layup from Adams put the Huskies up 68-62 with 34 seconds to play. That forced Temple to foul the rest of the way and UConn made its free throws.
“Jalen kind of took the game over,” said UConn coach Kevin Ollie. “When he wasn’t making baskets, he was making pretty assists.”
Temple: The Owls are 8-4 over their last 12 games, but their only losses prior to Wednesday had come to No. 9 Cincinnati, No. 16 Wichita State and a 22-win Houston team.
UConn: It was the final home game for five players, including Larrier, a transfer from VCU who still has a year of eligibility remaining after missing most of last season with a knee injury. Larrier says he plays to turn pro at the end of the season.
WHO WAS THAT UNMASKED MAN?
Larrier played without the mask that had protected a broken sinus wall for the last eight games, even though he was supposed to have it on for this game.
“I think he messed with the straps or something like that,” Ollie said. “He got rid of that thing real quick.”
BETTER STAT LINE
Adams was 9 of 15 from the floor and 5 of 9 from 3-point range. In the Huskies 85-57 loss to Temple a month ago, he was 2 of 10 from the field, with one 3-pointer on five attempts.
UConn has made at least 10 3-pointers in four of its last five games.
JEKYLL AND HYDE
Temple has one of the nation’s toughest schedules and has beaten such teams as No. 11 Wichita State, No. 14 Auburn, No. 18 Clemson, South Carolina and Wisconsin. But the Owls have also lost games to the likes of La Salle (13-17), George Washington (14-16), Tulane (14-14) and UConn.
Temple: The Owls close the regular season on Sunday at Tulsa.
UConn: The Huskies end the regular season on Sunday at No. 25 Houston.