CHARLESTON, S.C. — Josh Carlton had 16 points, James Bouknight 13 and UConn bounced back from its double overtime loss to No. 18 Xavier to take third place at the Charleston Classic with a 80-55 victory over Miami on Sunday.
The Huskies (4-2) were seconds away from upsetting the Musketeers on Friday night before falling 75-74. There was no hangover from that oh-so-close effort as UConn used strong shooting and active defense to top the Hurricanes (4-3) in the first meeting between the former Big East rivals in 11 years.
The Huskies’ youth was on full display, led by Bouknight, the highly regarded freshman who made his debut this week in Charleston after missing his team’s first three games with legal problems.
Bouknight, the 6-foot-4 guard form Brooklyn, New York, led UConn with 19 points against Xavier and continued his solid play in this one. He made six of seven field goals and added three rebounds, two assists and a steal — all off the bench.
Another freshman, 6-9 Akok Akok, had seven boards and six of his team’s nine blocked shots.
UConn broke on top in the final six minutes of the opening half, surging with a 14-5 run where it made seven of its final eight shots. Tyler Polley got it started and Akok Akok finished off an alley-oop pass from Alterique Gilbert that was so well executed that Huskies coach Danny Hurley gave his point guard a bear hug at the following time out.
Bouknight had two of UConn’s final three baskets, including a slicing drive to the hoop with 2.2 seconds left for a 36-27 lead.
The Huskies kept it up after intermission, pushing the lead to 25 points to win two of three games here this weekend.
Miami dropped its second straight after an opening win Thursday against Missouri State. The Hurricanes fell to state rival Florida on Friday.
Dejan Vasiljevic led Miami with 11 points.
Miami: The Hurricanes struggled in the second half of their past two losses. They were outscored 33-13 over the final 15 minutes of the Florida defeat and 62-35 the last 25 minutes against UConn.UConn: The Huskies are returning to the Big East next season and look ready to make an immediate impact with the young talent they’re developing. Bouknight, Akok, Brendan Adams, who also had 13 points off the bench, and Jalen Gaffney are underclassmen who are improving. Christian Vital had 14 points for UConn.