CHICAGO (AP) No. 1 UConn knows what's on the horizon. It didn't distract the Huskies from the task at hand.

Alex Karaban scored 21 points, and UConn rolled to its 13th straight win, beating DePaul 101-65 on Wednesday night.

Karaban nailed five 3-pointers - one shy of his career high - after scoring 25 in a romp at Georgetown last week, and the Huskies (23-2, 13-1 Big East) wasted little time burying the Blue Demons (3-21, 0-13). They took control in the opening minutes and never looked back.

UConn faces a stiffer test when it hosts No. 4 Marquette on Saturday, a marquee matchup that could go a long way toward sealing the top seed in the Big East Tournament. The Huskies also have their sights set on becoming the first program to repeat as national champions since Florida in 2006-07.

With all that, a game against DePaul would have been easy to look past. Instead, the Huskies simply made it look easy.

“I thought we handled the game real professionally and just showed tremendous respect for our opponent in this one,” coach Danny Hurley said. “I had some concerns coming in, just human nature things relative to taking the game lightly, but we were pretty on point.”

Against Georgetown, Hurley called a timeout leading by 25 late in the game it dominated from the start and shouted at his players, reminding them to stay focused. The message seemed to go through.

“It carried (over), I think,” Karaban said. “We were in the same situation, just to learn from it and really just show growth from that game. As long as we're getting better, that's all that matters.”

Stephon Castle had 15 points and six assists for UConn and Cam Spencer added 14 points five rebounds and five assists.

Jaden Henley scored 15 for DePaul. But the Blue Demons lost their 12th straight game and sixth since interim coach Matt Brady took over for the fired Tony Stubblefield.

UConn showed why it's at the top of the AP poll for the fifth week in a row, grabbing a 52-29 halftime lead.

The Huskies were up 22-7 after Spencer nailed a 3 and Jaylin Stewart broke in for a layup just over eight minutes into the game. And with a 31-18 lead, they put this one away with a 13-2 run.

Karaban started it when he made a jumper with 7:15 left in the half. Hassan Diarra went the distance for a layup following a steal to make it a 20-point game. Spencer pulled up for a jumper in the lane, and Tristen Newton scored on a putback, making it 44-20 with just over four minutes left in the half.

“I feel like we displayed what we bring to the table,” Castle said.


UConn: The Huskies moved a step closer to their first Big East regular-season championship since the 2005-06 season, when they tied Villanova. The Huskies lead Marquette by 2 1/2 games with six remaining.

DePaul: The Blue Demons never really were in this one and fell to 1-19 against UConn.


UConn: The showdown with Marquette in Hartford on Saturday is the first of two games between the teams. UConn visits the Golden Eagles on March 6.

DePaul: The Blue Demons will try again for their first conference win when they visit Providence on Saturday.


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