Hamilton leads UConn past Memphis 77-57
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Connecticut turned up its defense after halftime and ended up routing the Memphis Tigers.
Daniel Hamilton had 16 points and 13 rebounds, Shonn Miller scored 12 of his 14 points after the break and Connecticut used a second-half burst to defeat Memphis 77-57 on Thursday night.
The Huskies (16-6, 6-3 American Athletic Conference) outscored Memphis 41-20 after the Tigers took a lead into halftime. Hamilton also had eight assists.
''It wasn't really many adjustments (at halftime) other than stop fouling,'' said Huskies guard Rodney Purvis who finished with 15 points. ''We gave up a lot of points (in the first half), but those were really free throws for the most part.''
The win was the Huskies' second straight and fifth in the last six.
The Memphis offense went completely off track after the Tigers carried a 37-36 lead into halftime. UConn steadily built its lead in the second half while Memphis was struggling from the field and mishandling the ball.
With just under 5 minutes left in the game, Memphis had only three field goals in the half and had only taken nine shots. UConn remained comfortably in front the rest of the way as the Memphis fans made an early exit.
Memphis would make only 4 of 16 shots and commit 13 turnovers in the second half to further stymie their hopes.
''It was a tale of two halves, there's no doubt about that,'' Memphis coach Josh Pastner said, later adding: ''We had 20 turnovers (in the game) which is just way too high.''
Ricky Tarrant Jr. led the Tigers (13-9, 4-5) with 16 points, but was 2 of 7 from the field. Jeremiah Martin added 11 for Memphis, which dropped its second straight.
UConn overcame some poor shooting in the early stages of the first half to trail 37-36 at the break. Hamilton already had 12 points.
Miller, who was limited to only a pair of free throws in the first half, scored the first two baskets after intermission and six points before the first media timeout as the momentum shifted to the Huskies.
''They really stepped on the gas coming out that second half, and we just couldn't catch back up to them,'' said Memphis forward Shaq Goodwin, who limited to eight points.
Miller's jumper after the timeout capped a 10-2 run to give UConn a 46-39 advantage.
The lead would build to 59-46 after the Huskies converted consecutive Memphis turnovers, the second leading to a dunk by Hamilton and a timeout from Pastner.
''In the second half, once we got down in the stance, we were all getting deflections and steals,'' Purvis said. ''We were just taking them out of their plays, and there was nothing they could really do.''
UConn: The Huskies now lead the series 5-2. . The Huskies defeated Memphis 81-78 on Jan. 9. ... Miller was 6 of 8 from the field, part of UConn shooting 45.1 percent for the game (32 of 71). ... UConn outrebounded Memphis 38-29, including 13 offensive boards, leading to 16 second-chance points.
Memphis: Freshman F Dedric Lawson, who entered the game as the Tigers second-leading scorer at 14.1 points a game, was limited to six points, going 3 for 11 from the field. ... The Tigers have lost four of their last five.
BURRELL WILL BE BACK: Memphis senior forward Trahson Burrell did not play for disciplinary reasons. He did not play in the second half of Saturday's loss to SMU. Pastner said Burrell would return to the squad Friday and be available for Saturday's game against Cincinnati.
NOT SO CLOSE THIS TIME: Of the seven meetings in the series only one had a margin greater than 11 points before Thursday night. In the most recent four regular-season games between the teams, the margin has been five points or fewer.
UConn hosts East Carolina on Sunday.
Memphis hosts Cincinnati on Saturday