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No. 4 UConn returns from holiday break with 85-56 win over DePaul

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Cam Spencer scored 20 points to lead No. 4 UConn to an 85-56 rout of DePaul on Tuesday night.

The graduate transfer from Rutgers shot 7 for 11 from the field, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range.

Alex Karaban added 17 points for the Huskies (12-2, 2-1 Big East) and was 3 of 4 from behind the arc. Hassan Diarra scored 14 as did freshman Stephon Castle, who also had seven assists.

Da’Sean Nelson scored 19 points and Elijah Fisher had 17 for DePaul (3-10, 0-2), which shot just 36% from the floor (20 of 56).

It was the Huskies’ 17th straight win over the Blue Demons.

UConn had struggled in its first two conference games this season, a 15-point loss at Seton Hall and a four-point comeback win over St. John’s at home on Dec. 23.

The defending national champions started slowly in this one as well, with four early turnovers. They didn’t score until a layup by Castle more than four minutes into the game.

A layup by Jaden Henley gave the Blue Demons an 11-10 lead midway through the first half. But then UConn went on a 16-2 run, including a highlight-reel dunk from Castle on a long lob pass from Diarra.

The Huskies held DePaul to eight first-half baskets. A layup by Karaban capped a 9-1 spurt that sent UConn into halftime up 38-19.

BIG PICTURE

DePaul: The Blue Demons were picked last in the Big East preseason coaches’ poll and haven’t done much to exceed those expectations.

UConn: Played its second game without 7-foot-2 center Donovan Clingan, who is recovering from a tendon injury in his right foot. Huskies coach Dan Hurley said Clingan is out of a walking boot, but is expected to miss another two to three weeks. The sophomore is averaging 13.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

UP NEXT

DePaul: The Blue Demons visit Georgetown on Saturday.

UConn: The Huskies travel to Indianapolis to face Butler on Friday.