UConn snaps Texas' six-game winning streak 71-66

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie posted three words of instruction in his team's locker room Tuesday night: passion, purpose and poise.

He should have added one more.

''Our guys showed so much guts,'' Ollie said after the Huskies defeated Texas 71-66 to snap the Longhorns' six-game winning streak.

Rodney Purvis scored 16 points and led a second half rally. Shonn Miller and Daniel Hamilton added 13 points apiece for UConn (9-3) and former Longhorn Sterling Gibbs scored 12.

The Huskies have won four straight, but this was their first road game, not including neutral sites.

''This was definitely a signature win,'' Hamilton said.

Freshman Tevin Mack led Texas (8-4) with a season-best 20 points, and Isaiah Taylor scored 19.

Each team played without its starting center. Connecticut's Amida Brimah has missed the last two games with a broken finger on his right hand. Texas' Cameron Ridley suffered a broken left foot on Sunday while preparing to face Connecticut.

In the absence of those big men, both teams often resorted to four-guard lineups and a fast-paced approach.

Mack immediately took advantage of increased playing time, scoring 12 points in the first half, more than double his average per game. He made three 3-pointers in the half.

Even so, UConn took a 34-33 halftime lead on a fast-break basket by Purvis, who led the Huskies with seven points in the half.

Texas led 53-52 after Mack made his fifth 3-point basket of the game with 8:18 remaining. Then Purvis asserted himself with two driving shots, an assist on a basket by Jalen Adams, and a 3-pointer that gave UConn a 61-55 lead with 4:27 left.

After Taylor missed the front end of a one-and-one free-throw opportunity with 3:49 remaining, Purvis made another basket.

''I just play off my teammates,'' Purvis said. ''My teammates make a lot of plays for me.''

Six straight points by Taylor cut Texas' deficit to two, 65-63, with 33 second left, but UConn made six throws in the final 27 seconds, four by Gibbs. Gibbs scored six points in the final 1:13.

''We just didn't get enough stops down the stretch,'' Taylor said.

Texas coach Shaka Smart said the Longhorns had a good level of energy for the majority their first game without Ridley. But the defense was insufficient.

''You gotta give UConn a lot of credit,'' Smart said. ''They made some big plays in the second half, primarily guys putting their heads down and deciding to drive on us. We knew that was coming. It's one thing to know it. It's another thing to take it away.''

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TIP-INS

Connecticut: The Huskies shot 48 percent, failing to exceed 60 percent for the first time in four games. Their three-game streak before Tuesday was UConn's longest in at least 35 years, since the school began tracking that record. . Two of Connecticut's top four scorers transferred from other schools for their final year of eligibility - Shonn Miller (Cornell) and Sterling Gibbs (Seton Hall). Gibbs is at his third school, having started out at Texas.

Texas: Longhorn starting center Cameron Ridley underwent successful surgery Tuesday to repair a broken left foot, a team spokesman said. Ridley suffered the injury in practice on Sunday. There is no timetable for his return. . His replacement, Prince Ibeh, made the seventh start of his 114-game career. Ibeh had five blocks, four rebounds and three points in 18 minutes. He spent much of the game in foul trouble.

TEXAS DENIED

Freshman Tevin Mack converted 5 of 9 3-point shots for the Longhorns, but the rest of the team missed 13 of 14.

''The defense was outstanding,'' UConn coach Kevin Ollie said.

NEXT UP

Connecticut is at Tulane on Saturday

Texas is at Texas Tech on Saturday afternoon

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