UConn secures big road win with 80-72 victory over Xavier

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UConn's R.J. Cole dribbles against Xavier
UConn's R.J. Cole dribbles against Xavier

CINCINNATI -- — R.J. Cole came off the bench and scored a season-high 24 points as UConn held off Xavier 80-72 on Saturday. Cole drained 5 of 7 3-point shots and had seven assists — both season highs.

UConn was 11 of 26 from distance and had 21 assists on 28 baskets. Tyrese Martin had 15 points and nine rebounds for UConn (9-5, 6-5 Big East Conference).

Isaiah Whaley added 12 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks. Tyler Polley had 10 points.

Zach Freemantle scored a career-high 30 points and had 15 rebounds for the Musketeers (11-3, 4-3). Nate Johnson added 14 points and six rebounds. Paul Scruggs had 9 points and 12 assists.

The Musketeers cut a 14-point UConn second-half lead down to four, 76-72 on a Johnson 3-pointer with 16 seconds left. UConn's Martin and Whaley made four straight free throws while Xavier missed twice from distance.