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Cole scores season-high 24 to lead UConn over Xavier 80-72

The Musketeers cut a 14-point UConn second-half lead down to four, 76-72 on a Johnson 3-pointer with 16 seconds left.
Credit: AP
Connecticut guard R.J. Cole (1) hits a free throw with under a minute to play in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Xavier, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, in Cincinnati. (Albert Cesare/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

CINCINNATI — R.J. Cole came off the bench and scored a season-high 24 points as UConn held off Xavier 80-72 on Saturday.

Cole drained five of seven 3-point shots and had seven assists — both season highs. UConn was 11 of 26 from distance and had 21 assists on 28 baskets.

Tyrese Martin had 15 points and nine rebounds for UConn (9-5, 6-5 Big East Conference). Isaiah Whaley added 12 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks. Tyler Polley had 10 points.

Zach Freemantle scored a career-high 30 points and had 15 rebounds for the Musketeers (11-3, 4-3). Nate Johnson added 14 points and six rebounds. Paul Scruggs had 9 points and 12 assists.

The Musketeers cut a 14-point UConn second-half lead down to four, 76-72 on a Johnson 3-pointer with 16 seconds left. UConn’s Martin and Whaley made four straight free throws while Xavier missed twice from distance.

Credit: AP
Connecticut head coach Dan Hurley yells for a stop in the second half half of an NCAA college basketball game against Xaxier, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, in Cincinnati. (Albert Cesare/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)