HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) UConn coach Dan Hurley knows things are about to get tougher for his fifth-ranked Huskies.
He'd like to see his team do a better job of playing that way.
Cam Spencer scored 19 of his 25 points in the first half Tuesday and UConn opened the season with a third straight rout, 87-53 over Mississippi Valley State.
Donovan Clingan added 17 points for the Huskies (3-0) who have won 20 straight nonconference games, all by double digits. Alex Karaban chipped in with 14 points, despite spending most of the game in foul trouble.
But Hurley wasn't happy with his team's effort, pointing to 20 fouls and a slow start.
“We gave up 32% from the field; we had 20 assists; we shot 54%, we made 11 3s and I'm pissed because that (was) not championship caliber basketball,” he said.
Clingan opened the scoring with a put-back layup and UConn ran out to an 11-3 lead in the first 4 minutes.
The Huskies never trailed. But Karaban and Tristen Newton both picked up two early fouls and MVSU took advantage, closing the gap to 15-11. Brown had 14 of his points in the first half for the Delta Devils.
Spencer scored eight points during a 22-6 run that gave the Huskies a 42-20 lead. The grad transfer from Rutgers had five of his career-high seven 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes and the Huskies led 44-27 at the break.
“I thought we weren't great defensively and we were a little stagnant to start, so just being ready to shoot was just the main thing,” Spencer said.
The Huskies stretched their lead to as many as 35 points, outscoring MVSU 43-26 in the second half.
Rayquan Brown had 18 points to lead MVSU (0-3), impressing his coach.
“I think that’s going to help him going down the stretch, playing against guys of this caliber," coach George Ivory said. "He got tired going down to the end but overall, I was very pleased.”
MVSU: The Delta Devils have lost their first three games by an average of 39.6 points. They dropped their first two games to LSU (106-60) and Oklahoma (82-43).
UConn: The Huskies played without starting guard Stephon Castle. The freshman participated in warmups but was ruled out of the game with a right knee injury that began bothering him after he slipped on the floor during the Huskies win on Saturday over Stonehill College.
“We think it's pretty minor,” Hurley said. “If he's going to miss time, it won't be much.”
The Huskies have won their games this season by an average of 39 points after a 95-52 win over Northern Arizona and a 107-67 victory over Stonehill.
Freshman Solomon Ball got his first start for UConn, scoring 10 points, despite making just three of his 12 shots from the floor.
STATs OF THE DAY
UConn shot 11 of 28 from 3-point range. The Huskies were just 17 of 56 from behind the arc over their first two games ... The teams combined for 46 fouls
MVSU: Travels to Texas to face TCU on Friday night.
UConn: The Huskies play Indiana on Sunday in the Empire Classic at Madison Square Garden.
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