R.J. Cole, Tyrese Martin combine for 45 points as UConn tops Marquette, 78-70

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Tyrese Martin ball in hands blue jersey Marquette defender
Tyrese Martin ball in hands blue jersey Marquette defender

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (AP) — Tyrese Martin tossed in a career-high 25 points, R.J. Cole scored 20 and Connecticut turned back Marquette 78-70 in Big East Conference play on Tuesday night.

Martin sank 9 of 16 shots from the floor and added six rebounds for the Huskies (10-3, 1-1). Cole hit 7 of 12 shots and handed out seven assists. Andre Jackson pitched in with 10 points and seven boards. Adama Sanogo — the Huskies’ second-leading scorer and third-best rebounder — returned to action after missing four games with an abdominal strain. He scored six points and grabbed two rebounds off the bench.

UConn led 43-37 at halftime and pushed the lead to double digits — 58-47 — on Cole’s three-point play with 13:10 left to play. The Golden Eagles (8-5, 0-2) pulled within 66-65 on a layup by Justin Lewis with 4:15 remaining, but Martin scored six straight points and Cole’s jumper capped an 8-0 run to wrap up the win.

Lewis, a freshman, paced Marquette with 20 points and seven rebounds. Olivier-Maxence Prosper had 13 points and five boards.

Marquette was forced to play without second-leading scorer Darryl Morsell due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns.