Fred Beckham
February 22, 2015

STORRS, Conn. (AP) UConn's Daniel Hamilton says he learned to throw the lob pass while playing with his big brother Isaac back in Los Angeles during high school.

Isaac is now at UCLA, and Daniel has found another target on the East Coast, 7-foot center Amida Brimah.

Hamilton assisted on six of Brimah's eight baskets, most of them of the lob-and-dunk variety, and UConn beat Tulane 67-60 on Sunday.

''It started in pickups during the summer,'' Hamilton said. ''We were playing pickups early in the summer and I was finding him and he was finishing them, so that translated to the game.''

Hamilton finished with nine assists to go with seven points and nine rebounds. Brimah finished with 19 points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked four shots. He hit all eight of his shots from the floor.

Ryan Boatright added 16 points for the Huskies (15-11, 8-6 American Athletic Conference) who led for almost 37 minutes and held off the Green Wave in the second half.

''The last five minutes we just dug down deep and played great defense,'' Boatright said.

Louis Dabney had 19 points and Dylan Osetkowski added 12 for Tulane (14-12, 5-9), which has dropped seven of its last eight games, including a 62-53 loss to Connecticut earlier this month at home.

UConn outscored Tulane 34-12 in the paint and shot 53 percent from the floor, while holding Tulane to 38 percent shooting.

Tulane trailed 34-27 at the half, but took a one-point lead midway through the second half when a runner by Kajon Mack put the Green Wave up 46-45.

A dunk by Brimah gave UConn a 53-50 lead with five minutes left, and another on a lob pass from Hamilton with just over two minutes left pushed the lead back to eight at 60-52. The pair teamed up for four of UConn's last five field goals.

''They made some big-time shots and plays,'' said Tulane coach Ed Conroy. ''I think, quite frankly, a couple of ours didn't go in.''

UConn got the ball to Brimah early and his six quick points and three blocked shots helped UConn open the game on a 12-4 run.

Tulane used an 11-2 run to get back into the game, tying it at 18 on a jumper by Keith Pinkney.

But the Huskies closed the first half on a 9-3 run, capped by a pull-up jumper from Boatright. It was just the ninth time this season UConn has led at the half. The Huskies improved to 9-0 in those games.

The defending national champions remain in sixth place in the American Athletic Conference standings. The top five teams will get a bye in next month's conference tournament, which will be played in Hartford.

TIP-INS:

UConn: The game was just the sixth played by UConn on campus this season. They have one more game at Gampel Pavilion, on March 5 against Memphis. The Huskies also have played one home game in Bridgeport and six in Hartford, where they will take on SMU on March 1 and host the American Athletic Conference tournament. UConn is 10-3 at home this season.

Tulane: This was the 14th time Tulane has played against a defending national champion. They are now 0-14.

SPEED BOAT: Boatright continued to move up UConn's all-time scoring list. He now has 1,650 career points, passing Donyell Marshall and tying Khalid El-Amin for 11th place. He needs just 14 points to tie Cliff Robinson and move into the Top 10.

PLAYING WITH PAIN: UConn's Rodney Purvis left the game after taking a shot to the mouth early in the second half, but returned after getting three stitches.

UP NEXT:

UConn: The Huskies, who are 3-6 on the road this season, visit East Carolina on Wednesday.

Tulane: The Green Wave travel to Oklahoma to face Tulsa on Wednesday before returning to New Orleans to host Cincinnati, at team the Green Wave beat at the buzzer in Ohio on Valentine's Day.

You May Like