STORRS, Conn. -- Connecticut, in its first year post-Jim Calhoun, isn't eligible for the Big East tournament or any other postseason play this year because of an NCAA infractions battle.
But that doesn't mean the Huskies are a subpar team.
Rebounding from an overtime loss at Marquette in its conference opener, UConn ran its record to 11-3 with an easy 99-78 victory over undermanned DePaul on Tuesday night.
With Calhoun seated at a table behind the baseline and Kevin Ollie, recently rewarded with a multiyear contract, now coaching, the Huskies scored the game's first nine points and never trailed. They overcame a career-high 35 points by DePaul's Brandon Young and cruised home to their fifth win in the past six games.
DeAndre Daniels scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed eight rebounds, Ryan Boatright had 22 points, and Shabazz Napier added 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as the Huskies registered a season high in points.
Cleveland Melvin scored 18 points for the Blue Demons (10-6, 1-2 Big East), who were missing starters Donnavan Kirk and Charles McKinney. Both were suspended for the game by coach Oliver Purnell for violation of team rules. Young, whose previous career best was 31 points, also had five assists.
Kirk, a junior who is DePaul's tallest starter, is averaging 6.1 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. He also has 29 blocked shots. McKinney, a sophomore, is averaging 5.3 points and 2.1 boards.
DePaul, which won at Providence to start the two-game trip, trailed by 20 at the break. The Blue Demons held UConn to one field goal while crawling to within 12 with 14:17 left in the game, but the Huskies used a 16-4 spurt to blow it open again.
The Blue Demons blocked the Huskies' first three shots of the second half to gain some momentum.
When DePaul called timeout with 12:22 left in the first half, Daniels had as many points, 11, as the visitors. The problem for the Blue Demons was that the Huskies had 15 other points. The lead quickly grew to 20 as UConn came out of another timeout with a burst.
The opening 9-0 salvo took just 2:18, while a later 11-0 run took exactly two minutes off the clock.
The Huskies were 12-for-17 from the floor, 3-for-4 from 3-point range, while running up a 31-11 lead.
The lead grew to 22 before the Blue Demons ran off six straight points that produced a UConn timeout. Order was quickly restored, and the Huskies led 54-34 at the break. UConn held a 30-11 rebounding advantage during the first half.
NOTES: DePaul returns home for a two-game homestand, against Cincinnati next Tuesday and St. John's on Jan. 19, while UConn visits Notre Dame on Saturday and hosts Louisville in Hartford on Monday. ... Before the loss to the Huskies, DePaul was off to a 4-0 true road start for the first time since the 1993-94 team was 5-0 on the road at the start of the season. The Blue Demons were looking for back-to-back Big East road wins for the first time since January 2007. That was during DePaul's last winning season. ... UConn is set to play three more games on campus the rest of the season, hosting South Florida, Georgetown and Providence. The rest are in Hartford. ... DePaul registered its 595th consecutive game with at least one made 3-pointer, a streak that started in February 1993. The Demons' first two baskets Tuesday were 3-pointers. ... A loss would have meant UConn's first 0-2 Big East start since 1989-90.