Ryan Boatright had 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists as No. 23 Connecticut took a 77-71 win over Wake Forest in the first round of the Paradise Jam.
Shabazz Napier also had 16 points for the Huskies (3-0), who will take on Quinnipiac in the second round on Saturday. Enosch Wolf posted 12 points and seven rebounds in the win.
Codi Miller-McIntyre had 21 points, C.J. Harris added 17 points and Travis McKie gave 16 points and eight rebounds for the Demon Deacons (1-1), who had opened their season with a win against Radford last Friday.
"Shabazz finally showed up for us those last (10) minutes," UConn head coach Kevin Ollie said.
Wake Forest had trailed by six about five minutes into the second half, but a 10-0 run capped on 3-pointers from McKie and Arnaud William Adala Moto gave the Deacons a 50-46 lead with 12 minutes to play.
However, the Huskies answered with a 9-0 run a few minutes later to take a lead they never relinquished. Napier capped the burst with a 3-point play and a 58-52 lead with under eight minutes to play.
A few minutes later, McKie hit one of two from the line and later buried a 3- pointer to cut the Deacons' deficit to 73-69 with under a minute to play.
The Huskies ran the clock down to 28 seconds before Napier was fouled and he hit both of his attempts for a 75-69 lead. McKie followed with a layup, but Napier hit two from the line with six seconds left to put the game away.
It took a little bit for the offense to get started in the game, but an 8-0 run by the Huskies saw the team take a 13-6 lead off a Niels Giffey tip-in with 11 1/2 minutes left.
An 8-2 run later in the half by the Deacons saw the team take a 25-22 lead when Miller-McIntyre hit a jumper with 5 1/2 minutes to play.
DeAndre Daniels, though, hit a 3-pointer a few minutes later to give Connecticut the lead back and the team took a 36-32 advantage into the halftime break.
This was the third time these two schools met and the Huskies have won two ... Connecticut shot 47.2 percent from the floor and 24-of-30 from the free throw line ... Wake Forest made 49.1 percent of its floor shots, but just 12-of-22 from the stripe.