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STORRS, Conn. – Boston University was down big early and lost to No. 19 UConn by 17 points, but in between the Terriers showed why they are optimistic about this season.
BU used a 15-0 run to help climb all the way back from a 19-point first half-deficit and take a second-half lead before bowing to the Huskies 77-60 on Sunday in the 2K Sports Classic.
"I thought we fought hard," said coach Joe Jones. "I think the size and length of Connecticut early on had us a little shaken, and then once we calmed down and we got in a rhythm, we showed flashes of the team we can be."
DeAndre Daniels, who had 19 total points in UConn's first three games, broke out of his scoring slump with 24 points to lead the Huskies.
"I was able to get myself going and knock a couple of shots down," said Daniels, who was just two points off his career high. "Shabazz (Napier) told me the middle of their zone was wide open, so I kept going to the middle and they kept leaving me wide open."
Ryan Boatright added 16 points and Napier had 12 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for UConn (4-0).
D.J. Irving had 17 points for Boston (2-1), which had a one-point lead with 17½ minutes to play. Dom Morris added 13 points and nine rebounds, and Maurice Watson Jr. also scored 13 for the Terriers.
"We just had a few mental lapses in the second half," said Morris. "We had our run, they went on their run and we couldn't get back on our run."
Daniels, who was 10 of 18 from the floor against BU, got the Huskies off to a quick start, scoring eight points in a 10-0 run to open the game. He hit five of his first six shots from the field, while BU was missing its first 12 shots, going without a field goal for the first 8 ½ minutes.
Consecutive 3s by Omar Calhoun and Boatright put UConn up 32-13, its largest lead of the half. The Huskies were up 37-20 before Boston University began a 15-0 run, scoring the final 12 points of the half.
"We kind of took our foot off the gas pedal, which I don't like to see," said UConn coach Kevin Ollie.
UConn appeared to be holding for a final shot, but a miss by Napier with 6 seconds left led to fast break for BU. Maurice Watson Jr. found D.J. Irving on the right wing and his 3-pointer right before the halftime buzzer cut the lead to 37-32.
John Papale made two 3-pointers and Irving hit a jumper to help Boston grab a 43-42 lead early in the second half.
"It just shows how tough we are," said Watson. "If we stick together, everything's going to be fine."
The Terriers have made at least one 3-pointer in 526 consecutive games. They attempted 32 of them against UConn, making eight. The Huskies also made eight shots from behind the arc, but on just 17 attempts.
The teams were tied at 46 when UConn put together a 16-3 run.
Consecutive dunks by Boatright and Daniels made it 53-46. Napier hit two 3-pointers to make it a 10-point lead again at 59-49.
"We were not too worried about giving up the lead, knowing we could be them by however much we had them up by," said Napier, who scored all his points in the second half. "We were just kind of upset that we gave up the lead so quickly."
UConn won despite getting just 20 points from its bench, which came in averaging more than 36 points this season. The Huskies had six players score in double figures on Thursday night.
Connecticut has now won 41 straight non-conference games at Gampel Pavilion.
Boston University hasn't won a game against a ranked team since 1959. The Terriers, who moved this season from the America East, are favored to win the Patriot League. The Terriers returned all five starters and its seven top scorers from a year ago.
The Huskies improved to 42-12 against BU, and have won 22 of the last 24 meetings between the schools.
"We made it a game," said Boatright. "We had them by 19 and we made it a game. I'm just glad we pulled it together and we came out with the win."