San Juan, PR (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Boatright scored 19 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists to lead the 17th-ranked Connecticut Huskies over the College of Charleston, 65-57, in opening-round action of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum.
Amida Brimah added 14 points and four boards for UConn (2-0), which will next face Dayton in the semifinal round on Friday. The Flyers defeated Texas A&M, 55-53, earlier on Thursday.
Daniel Hamilton, the brother of former UConn and NBA star Richard Hamilton, added 15 points for the Huskies, who held off a pesky Cougars squad.
"We had some turnovers, but I'm going to take this win. It was overall a really good effort for our guys," said UConn head coach Kevin Ollie.
Anthony Stitt had 17 points and Adjehi Baru scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the College of Charleston (1-2), which faces Texas A&M on Friday.
The Huskies scored 10 of the first 12 points of the game and never looked back.
The Cougars drew within 19-17 in the first half when David Wishon hit 1-of-2 free throws at the 6:02 mark, but later Hamilton hit a pair of threes to end the half and stake the Huskies to a 30-21 halftime cushion.
College of Charleston stayed within striking distance throughout the second half. After UConn extended to a 45-34 lead at the 11:47 mark following a Boatright jumper, the Cougars answered with a 9-2 run to draw within 47-43. Cameron Johnson's three-pointer capped the surge with 8:27 left.
However, the Huskies responded to go back ahead 52-43 following a Sam Cassell Jr. jumper with 7:26 remaining and the Huskies held on from there.
The Cougars made it interesting by drawing within 61-57 with 22 seconds left following a Stitt three-pointer, but never had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead in the final seconds.
"I thought we played really, really hard," said College of Charleston head coach Earl Grant. "I thought we sprinted back on defense and took away a lot of transition baskets which is hard to do against a great team like Connecticut. We gave a great effort."
UConn owns the nation's longest winning streak at eight games ... The Huskies lead the all-time series against Charleston, 3-0 ... Joe Chealey had 12 points for the Cougars ... Canyon Barry added 10 points for College of Charleston.