STORRS, Conn. - One of the more baffling stories of the early season was the slow start by Connecticut's basketball team. The Huskies appear to be coming out of their funk, which Temple had to witness firsthand.
With their big men exerting their force on both ends of the court, UConn defeated Temple, 73-59, Wednesday in an American Athletic Conference game at Gampel Pavilion.
Temple (10-8), which lost four conference games all season in winning last year's regular-season title, dropped to 1-4 in the AAC.
An NCAA tournament team last year, UConn (7-9, 2-3) has a two-game winning streak, only its second of the season.
Temple has lost four of its last five, all in AAC play.
The Owls trailed by 45-28 after UConn scored the first six points of the second half. The closest Temple would get was 53-46, when Obi Enechionyia scored on a tip-in with 10 minutes, 4 seconds left.
Temple sophomore Shizz Alston had 13 points and six assists. Enechionyia was limited to seven points on 3-for-17 shooting. While it was no consolation, Enechionyia had mostly good looks and wasn't forcing shots.
"I did get a lot of open looks, a lot of good shots," said Enechionyia, who made only 1 of 10 three-point shots. "Most of them felt good and looked good, but they stopped short."
Stopping Enechionyia was the key to the Huskies' defensive game plan.
"He had good looks," UConn coach Kevin Ollie said. "He is a good basketball player, and I really thought our guys ran at him at the three-point line and challenged him late instead of giving him wide-open looks."
Kentan Facey, a 6-foot-10 senior, scored a career-high 23 points for UConn. Guard Jalen Adams had a career-high 12 assists while center Amida Brimah added a season-high 13 points to go along with six blocked shots, all in the first half.
His blocks set the tone as the Huskies took a 39-28 first-half lead.
"Brimah put his mark on the game in the first half when we kept trying to go at him for some reason," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said.
The center energized not only the team but the crowd of 6,582 at the Huskies' campus arena.
"We feed off of that," Ollie said.
Temple wisely didn't challenge Brimah much in the second half, but it was one half too late.
"If we definitely could have changed one thing it would have been not challenging him as much and looking for open guys," said Temple forward Mark Williams, who had 10 points and scored in double figures in consecutive games for the first time in his career.
Besides Williams, another positive note was the first-half play of 6-11 freshman Damion Moore, who came off the bench to score six points in seven minutes, hitting all three of his shots from the field. He did not play in the second half.