Akok Akok, a 6-foot-9 freshman, blocked six shots as the Connecticut Huskies dominated the Miami Hurricanes 80-55 on Sunday afternoon in the third-place game of the Charleston Classic at Charleston, S.C.
Josh Carlton had 16 points to lead four Huskies scorers in double figures. Christian Vital had 14 points, and Brendan Adams and James Bouknight had 13 each.
Connecticut junior point guard Alterique Gilbert — a former McDonald’s All-American — added a game-high seven assists as the Huskies (4-2) responded in impressive fashion following a double-overtime loss to Xavier on Friday night.
Miami (4-3), which has lost two straight games, was led by Dejan Vasiljevic, who had 11 points. Rodney Miller added 10 points.
Connecticut shot 53.3 percent from the floor, including 7 of 19 on 3-pointers (36.8 percent). The Huskies also had a 34-26 rebounding edge and were plus-six on turnovers.
Miami shot 46.3 percent from the floor, including 4 of 10 on 3-pointers. Tellingly, the Hurricanes earned just two trips to the foul line, making one free throw.
There were seven lead changes in the first half, but Connecticut closed on a 6-0 run to take a 36-27 lead into the break. Bouknight’s finger roll in traffic just before the buzzer capped the Huskies’ spurt.
The first-half turning point came after a 3-pointer by Miami’s Chris Lykes, who was then whistled for a technical foul, apparently for taunting his defender.
Miami led 18-15 at that point, with 9:56 left in the half. But the Huskies were awarded two free throws — Adams made both — and Miami coach Jim Larranaga then sat Lykes for more than seven minutes, during which Connecticut took a five-point lead.
UConn shot 51.7 percent in the first half, compared to 44.4 percent for Miami.
The Huskies gradually pulled away again in the second half, and Miami never responded in a significant way after falling behind by double-digits with 15:36 left.
—Field Level Media