Adama Sanogo collected 24 points and eight rebounds to lift fourth-seeded UConn to a 70-55 victory over fifth-seeded Saint Mary’s on Sunday in an NCAA Tournament West Region second-round game in Albany, N.Y.
Sanogo made 11 of 16 shots from the floor and both attempts from the free-throw line. He sank 13 of 17 attempts from the floor in a 28-point, 13-rebound performance during the Huskies’ 87-63 romp over 13th-seeded Iona on Friday.
UConn’s Tristen Newton scored 13 points and Jordan Hawkins answered his second straight scoreless first half by draining four 3-pointers after intermission. Hawkins finished with 12 points.
The Huskies (27-8) advanced past the second round of the tournament for the first time since their national title run in 2014. They will face eighth-seeded Arkansas, which posted a 72-71 victory over top-seeded Kansas on Saturday.
“I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it,” Sanogo said postgame. “My last two years we lost our first game in March Madness. So this year to be able to go to Sweet 16, I can’t believe it.”
UConn shot 54 percent from the floor (27 of 50) and 45.5 percent from 3-point range (10 of 22). The Huskies also held a 31-22 advantage in rebounds and recorded five blocks.
Aidan Mahaney answered a zero-point performance in the first round by joining Logan Johnson with nine points for the Gaels (27-8).
Saint Mary’s guard Alex Ducas scored eight points before sustaining a back injury with 4:52 remaining the first half. He did not return to the game.
Mitchell Saxen made a layup to bring the Gaels within one at 41-40 before the Huskies countered with a 10-0 run. Alex Karaban and Hawkins each drained a 3-pointer to highlight that surge.
Saint Mary’s trimmed the deficit to eight at 53-45 before Hawkins sank a trio of 3-pointers and Sanogo added a layup during an 11-2 run to effectively put the game out of reach.
The Gaels saw their eight-point lead whittled to one before an untouched Ducas fell to his knees and needed assistance to leave the court. He was taken directly to the locker room.
UConn scored 11 of the final 18 points to seize a 31-30 lead at the half, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers from Newton and one from Joey Calcaterra.
–Field Level Media