Jordan Hawkins had 22 points and seven rebounds, Alex Karaban added 15 points and No. 2 Connecticut held off visiting Villanova, 74-66 on Wednesday in Hartford, Conn.
Andre Jackson Jr. also scored 10 for the undefeated Huskies (14-0, 3-0 Big East).
Caleb Daniels led Villanova with 23 points while Eric Dixon contributed 18 points and eight rebounds. Brandon Slater chipped in 10 points for the Wildcats (7-6, 1-1), who committed 18 turnovers and had their five-game winning streak snapped.
Dixon hit a short jumper with 10:24 left in the first half to cap an 8-0 run for a 12-10 Villanova lead.
Nahiem Alleyne responded with a difficult jump shot on UConn’s next possession to equalize. Hawkins soon after converted a four-point play for a 16-12 Huskies advantage.
The Wildcats tightened defensively and went ahead 19-18 when Slater drove to the basket and scored with 7:44 remaining.
Hawkins dropped in a 3-pointer to complete an 8-0 spurt for a 26-19 UConn advantage. Jackson made a trey from the wing with 3:01 to go but was whistled for a technical foul for taunting after the shot.
UConn led 33-32 at halftime thanks in large part to 16 points from Hawkins.
Villanova received 10 apiece from Dixon and Slater and stayed close despite shooting 1 of 8 from 3-point territory.
Dixon and Daniels each scored to open the second half and the Wildcats pulled out to a 36-33 advantage.
The Huskies took a 45-39 lead with 14:21 remaining following Karaban’s offensive rebound and tip-in. UConn extended its lead to 49-39, when Donovan Clingan scored in the low post.
Dixon came back with a trey to halt the Huskies’ momentum and Daniels’ layup with 7:05 left sliced the deficit to 55-49.
Hassan Diarra then drew the fourth foul on Daniels and converted two free throws with 6:09 to go.
Daniels produced a three-point play in the lane with 3:36 left to close within 58-56.
Adama Sanogo posted up and scored down low, Jackson Jr. added a 3-pointer from the corner and the Huskies led by seven.
–Field Level Media