Loyola (Maryland) came close to an outsized upset Tuesday night at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., but one key run in each half by 13th-ranked Connecticut made the difference in the Huskies' 76-66 non-conference win.
The Huskies (7-0) used a 19-3 first-half spurt to grab a 23-9 lead at the 7:58 mark, but the Greyhounds (4-1) gradually worked their way back into contention. They scored the first half's last seven points to go into the locker room down just 34-26.
Loyola then kept the deficit between three and six points for most of the second half's first 10 minutes. However, Connecticut guard Lasan Kromah's 3-pointer with 10:40 left started a 16-5 spurt that forward DeAndre Daniels capped with a tip-in for a 72-55 lead with 5:22 remaining.
Daniels paced UConn with 21 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots in 29 minutes. Guad Ryan Boatright added 13 points, eight boards and five assists, while Kromah finished with 12 points. Guard Shabazz Napier scored only four points but contributed seven rebounds, seven assists, three steals and three blocks.
Guard Dylan Cormier led all scorers with 23 points for the Greyhounds. Guard Eric Laster contributed 12, while guard R.J. Williams chipped in 10 points, six assists and four steals.
Loyola outrebounded the Huskies 40-39 and committed just 11 turnovers to the hosts' 14, but UConn blocked 11 shots and canned 50.9 percent of its field-goal tries. The Greyhounds shot 35.7 percent from the floor.