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UConn wins defensive battle, 61-46 over Manhattan

STORRS — Christian Vital scored 13 points and pulled down eight rebounds as UConn shook off a slow start to beat Manhattan 61-46 on Saturday night.

Alterique Gilbert added 12 points and Josh Carlton had 11 for the Huskies (8-3).

Freshman Warren Williams had 10 points to lead the Jaspers (2-8), who have lost five straight since beating UNC Ashville on Nov. 18.

UConn led 25-15 after an ugly first half that saw both teams shoot under 30 percent from the floor. The Huskies shot 48 percent in the second half.

Tyler Polley opened the game with a 3-pointer from the right baseline, the only attempt of the Huskies’ first 11 that went in the basket. The Jaspers didn’t get their first points for more than three minutes, but trailed only 5-0.

Manhattan went on an 8-0 run from there, holding UConn scoreless for more than seven minutes.

The Huskies made just eight baskets in the half and were just 2 of 15 from 3-point range.

But Manhattan was worse, shooing 6 of 23 from the field and 1 of 9 from behind the arc. They finished with just 17 field goals on 49 shots.

UConn closed the half on a 10-0 run, capped by a put-back from Carlton just before the buzzer.

The Huskies went on a 10-4 run to open the second half, hit their first seven shots after intermission and were never really threatened by the Jaspers.

BIG PICTURE

Manhattan: The Jaspers came in giving up just 63 points per game. They held UConn 23 points below its season average.

UConn: The Huskies were just 4 of 23 from 3-point range, but outscored Manhattan 34-22 in the paint.

UP NEXT

Manhattan: The Jaspers play at Albany on Thursday, the second game in a three-game road swing.

UConn: The Huskies play Drexel in Hartford on Tuesday, before facing Villanova in New York next Saturday.