James Bouknight had 18 points and seven rebounds and UConn held off Southern California 61-58 in the Roman Legends Classic at Mohegan Sun Arena on Thursday.
Bouknight scored 13 of his total points in the first half to help UConn head into the halftime break with a five-point, 39-34 lead. The Huskies (3-0) shot just 26.9% in the second half, but held USC to just 28.6% in the second period to ensure the victory.
Tyrese Martin added 11 points and seven rebounds and Isaiah Whaley chipped in with 10 points and five boards for UConn, which won its third straight game after starting the season with victories over Central Connecticut and Hartford.
NBA prospect Evan Mobley finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists to lead the Trojans (3-1), who had no other players scoring in double figures.
After a close battle throughout the first half, the Huskies used a 9-0 run to take a 37-27 lead with 2:33 remaining in the first half.
UConn increased its lead to 53-40 with 14:23 left in the second period, but Southern California used its own 9-0 run to trim the deficit to 53-49 with 11:03 to play.
However, the Huskies scored steadily down the stretch to setup the win.
As a team, the Big East side shot just 34.5% on 19 of 55 shooting from the field and was 7 of 19 from 3-pointers.
The Trojans were 19 of 53 from the floor for 35.8% and missed 16 of their 19 shots from 3-point range in the defeat.
UConn won the battle off the glass after outrebounding USC 42-31.
USC will next face UC Irvine on December 8
The Huskies are up against NC State on Saturday.