WASHINGTON — Top-ranked UConn was never challenged on the way to its 12th consecutive victory, leading by as many as 26 in the first half Saturday while beating Georgetown 89-64 behind Alex Karaban’s 25 points.
The defending national champion Huskies (22-2, 12-1 Big East) were dominant at both ends of the court, putting together runs of 9-0 and 11-0 before the game was 10 minutes old.
It was 52-28 at halftime, with coach Dan Hurley’s team shooting 63% on field-goal attempts, including 75% on 2-pointers. UConn held Georgetown (8-15, 1-11) to 35% on field goals in the half.
Despite the margin, Hurley was working the officials early, telling one during a timeout to “keep an eye on” Georgetown’s Supreme Cook, a 6-foot-9 senior forward. With about six minutes remaining in the game, and UConn’s edge 72-47, a red-faced Hurley called a timeout to yell at his players.
UConn never led by fewer than 20 in the second half, and finished with a 48-24 edge in points in the paint.
Dontrez Styles scored 23 points for the Hoyas, who have lost eight games in a row under first-year coach Ed Cooley. When he wasn’t actually coaching or trying to convince an official of a missed call, Cooley sarcastically smiled or laughed with his arms crossed or hands on his hips.
UConn was able to do pretty much whatever it wanted on offense against an opponent not particularly known for its defense. It was 19-6 less than 6 1/2 minutes in, with 12 of the Huskies’ points coming courtesy of Karaban, who made five of his first six shots. He was at 17 by halftime and ended up one point shy of his college high while going 10 for 14 on field-goal tries.
After UConn freshman Stephon Castle, who scored 17, was left completely unguarded in the paint for one of his team’s several dunks, making it 30-12 midway through the opening half, some boos cascaded from the stands — and Cooley called his second timeout in a span of 39 seconds.
UConn: Off to its best season start since going 24-1 in 2008-09 and next week should mark its fifth in a row at No. 1 in the AP Top 25. The Huskies’ 12-game Big East winning streak is the league’s longest since Villanova put together one that long in 2015.
Georgetown: What was expected to be a slow turnaround under Cooley is precisely that so far. The Hoyas are not close to being competitive in the Big East.
UConn: At DePaul on Wednesday to face the only team below Georgetown in the Big East standings. DePaul is 0-12 in the league and 3-20 overall and fired coach Tony Stubblefield in January. UConn won the teams’ first meeting this season by 29 points.
Georgetown: Plays Tuesday at Creighton, which is ranked No. 19 in the AP poll. Creighton won 77-60 at Georgetown on Jan. 2.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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