HARTFORD — Aubrey Dawkins scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half to lead UCF to its sixth straight win, a 65-53 victory over UConn on Saturday.
B.J. Taylor added 12 points for the Knights (12-2, 2-0 American), who won on the Huskies home floor for the first time in program history.
Alterique Gilbert had 18 points and Christian Vital 15 for UConn (9-6, 0-2), which lost its third straight game.
UCF led just 33-30 halftime, but quickly built that to eight in the second half on two jumpers by Dawkins, the first from beyond the arc after a steal by Tacko Fall.
UConn went on a run and tied the game at 40 on a 3-pointer from Vital, part of a personal 7-0 run. But UCF took control from there.
A 3-pointer from Taylor with five minutes left gave the Knights a 12-point lead and they kept the Huskies at arms-length the rest of the way.
UCF: The Knights shot 57 percent from the floor and held UConn to just 32 percent. UCF improved to 3-11 all-time against the Huskies, 1-6 on the road.
UConn: The Huskies were concerned about matching up with the taller Knights inside, but outrebounded UCF 37-23, including 17-0 on the offensive glass. The Huskies were able to convert that into just six second-chance points…. UConn last won a conference home opener in 2014, an 84-61 win over UCF.
UCF: The Knights have more than a week off before hosting East Carolina on Jan. 13.
UConn: The Huskies head back to campus to face SMU on Thursday night.