HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — UConn forward DeAndre Daniels said he needed a bounce-back game. He got one against Temple.
Three days after being held to just three points and four rebounds in a loss to No. 12 Louisville, the 6-foot-8 junior put up a career-high 31 points and grabbed 12 boards Tuesday to help the Huskies to a 90-66 win over the Owls.
Daniels hit 11 of his 19 shots, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range in putting up the fourth double-double of his career.
“I feel like I let my teammates down and my fans down (against the Cardinals),” he said. “Everybody has a bad game, but definitely tonight me and Shabazz wanted to be aggressive.”
Shabazz Napier added 27 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out six assists for the Huskies (15-4, 3-3 American Athletic Conference), who hit 53 percent of their shots, and were 12 of 23 from 3-point range.
Temple guard Will Cummings, who had missed the last two games with concussion-like symptoms, started and had 20 points to lead the Owls (5-12, 0-6), who have lost seven straight and are alone in last place in the conference.
The game was played in front of fewer than 5,000 fans at the 16,000-seat XL Center in Hartford, as a snow storm kept many . eople at home.
UConn guard Ryan Boatright also missed the game while traveling for the funeral of his 20-year-old cousin Arin Williams, who was shot and killed a week ago in Boatright’s hometown of Aurora, Ill. Williams’ mother died in childbirth, and he and Boatright were raised as brothers in Boatright’s home.
Boatright had been averaging just over 12 points and just under four assists per game. He had played in 63 straight games before Tuesday and made 48 consecutive starts.
“I felt like I had to do a lot more scoring with him gone,” Daniels said.
But the absence of a UConn guard and the return of one for Temple had little impact on the outcome.
Cummings, who was averaging 16 points and four assists, hit his first shot, a 3-pointer from the corner, and was the lone bright spot for the Owls.
Anthony Lee, the leading rebounder in the conference, added 14 points for Temple but did not have any rebounds against UConn.
The Huskies had a 45-25 advantage on the boards.
“Cummings did about what he could do tonight,” said Temple coach Fran Dunphy. “He had a tough assignment to try and keep Napier in front of him.”
Napier, who had a career-high 30 on Saturday against Louisville, had 12 points in the first 6 minutes of this one. He led UConn on a 12-3 run and an early 18-11 advantage. The lead only grew from there.
The Huskies hit 10 of their first 15 shots from the floor, and Napier hit six of his eight first half shots.
A 14-0 run opened the lead to 32-16. Napier sat with his second foul with just under 8 minutes left in the half and the Huskies holding that lead.
UConn was outscored by two points the rest of the half and went into the break up 48-34.
Napier, Daniels and Niels Giffey each hit 3-pointers coming out of the break to bring the lead over 20 points and they were not threatened after that.
A dunk by Daniels with just under 4 minutes remaining eclipsed his previous career high of 26 points, and put the Huskies up 86-63.
“He just came out with some fire,” said UConn coach Kevin Ollie. “He made some 3s, but then he got to the rim. That’s what I like. That’s when his whole game opens up.”
Freshman Terrence Samuel played 15 minutes in Boatright’s absence. It was just the 11th game this season he has seen action. He had two points.
Connecticut was coming off a 12 point loss at home to No. 12 Louisville, which snapped a three-game winning streak.
Temple, which came in with four players averaging 14 or more points per game, was held 10 points under its season average.
The Owls losing streak is the longest since the 2001-02 season.
The game was the first between the storied programs since 1965, a 71-60 UConn win.
It was a quiet building. The school did not run busses from the campus, some 30 miles away, because of the weather. The UConn cheerleaders and dance team also did not make the trip.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)