STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Kevin Ollie didn't like the way his team played on Wednesday night, but after the stretch the Huskies just had, he'll take the win. Jalen Adams scored 19 points and UConn snapped a three-game losing skid by holding off South Florida 68-65.
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Kevin Ollie didn't like the way his team played on Wednesday night, but after the stretch the Huskies just had, he'll take the win.
Jalen Adams scored 19 points and UConn snapped a three-game losing skid by holding off South Florida 68-65.
Terry Larrier and Christian Vital each added 15 points for the Huskies (12-12, 5-6 American), who had lost five of their last six.
UConn led by 12 points at halftime, but escaped overtime when a 3-point shot by USF's David Collins missed the mark at the buzzer.
USF (8-17, 1-11) outrebounded UConn 36-27, including 15-5 on the offensive end. The league's last-place team also scored 24 second-chance points to just four for the Huskies.
"We didn't win the right way, not the UConn way," Ollie said. "Our inconsistency with the rebounds it's alarming and it's bad. We've got to do better."
Stephan Jiggetts had 18 points to lead USF (8-17, 1-11), which dropped its fourth game in a row and lost for the 11th time in 12 games. Isaiah Manderson had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls.
"We had some good looks in the second half," said USF coach Brian Gregory. "We just didn't shoot the ball well enough."
UConn saw a 35-23 halftime lead dwindle to 41-39 after a 9-0 run from South Florida early in the second half.
A 3-pointer from Larrier at the shot-clock buzzer put UConn back up by eight points with just over two minutes left.
But the Bulls made a final run, cutting it to 67-65 on a layup by Manderson with just 38 seconds left. After Adams hit one of two foul shots on the other end, Collins got a good look from the left wing that bounced off the rim.
"I definitely can't complain about a win," Adams said. "We'll take it, whether it's by one, two or 20. I'm definitely happy that he missed that shot."
South Florida: The game represented a homecoming of sorts for USF guard Terrence Samuel, who was the only player on the court to have won a national championship. He did that in 2014 as a backup freshman point guard at UConn. Samuel transferred after two seasons to Penn State and is playing this year at USF as a graduate transfer. He went scoreless, missing all seven of his shots.
UConn: UConn leads the series 20-2, is 8-0 at home and has won 10 straight against the Bulls. The Huskies are 6-1 at Gampel Pavilion this year, with their only loss coming last Saturday to Cincinnati.
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR UCONN?
Kevin Ollie got a visit earlier in the day from one of his mentors, Larry Brown. Ollie said the Hall of Fame coach was in town because a friend's son is being recruited to play golf at UConn. Ollie says he and Brown talk by phone after every game.
ICE ICE BABY
Freezing rain kept many fans from the game and caused some trouble for the officials as well. Two of the three officials had some travel issues, forcing the league to have two others from the Atlantic 10 come in and serve as stand-bys. In the end, Rick Crawford and Alfred Smith were able to get to the arena before the tip.
UConn decided to give all its unsold tickets away to fans who braved the weather. It looked as if about half of the 6,636 who paid for tickets did not make it.
South Florida: The Bulls head home for a game with Temple on Saturday
UConn: The Huskies make their first visit to No. 22 Wichita State on Saturday.
Follow Pat Eaton-Robb on Twitter @peatonrobb