Adama Sanogo notched a 28-point, 13-rebound double-double Friday night to lead fourth-seeded UConn to an 87-63 victory over No. 13-seed Iona in a first-round matchup in the NCAA Tournament’s West Region, in Albany, N.Y.
Sanogo made 13 of his 17 shots from the field to help the Huskies (26-8) advance to the second round, where they will face fifth-seeded Saint Mary’s on Sunday.
Jordan Hawkins chipped in 13 points, Donovan Clingan posted 12 and Andre Jackson Jr. supplied 10.
Walter Clayton Jr. paced the Gaels (27-8) with 15 points. Daniss Jenkins finished with 14 points, while Berrick JeanLouis tallied 13 for Iona, which entered the tournament on a 14-game winning streak.
Iona wasted no time getting its offense going, making seven of its first 10 shots to take an early 18-14 lead with 12:54 left in the first half.
The Huskies gained a four-point lead with just over 7 1/2 minutes left until halftime but the Gaels responded with a 7-0 run that included a 3-pointer from Anton Brookshire. Iona led by as much as four later in the period before settling for a 39-37 edge at the break.
JeanLouis led the Gaels with 11 points in the first half, while Clayton added eight. Clingan and Jackson had eight points apiece for UConn, which sank 7 of 16 3-pointers through the first 20 minutes of action.
Hawkins and Sanogo shifted the momentum in UConn’s favor early in the second half, as the duo accounted for all of the scoring during a 17-4 run that allowed the Huskies to build an 11-point cushion.
Sanogo had 10 points during the surge, while Hawkins posted the other seven.
“If you want to win this time of year, your big guns have got to show up and they’ve got to play at a high level,” Huskies coach Danny Hurley said in a postgame interview. “Getting Jordan going early in the second half helped, and Adama showed up like the beast he is.”
UConn just kept pouring it on from there, and Sanogo all but sealed the decision when he knocked down a triple from the top of the key with 3:03 remaining to extend the lead to 20.
–Field Level Media