GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) After missing seven games with a sprained ligament in his knee, Connecticut senior guard Jalen Adams was adamant about playing Sunday.
He told coach Danny Hurley that he wanted to wear the UConn jersey again, then took the Huskies' offense to a higher level in an 82-73 defeat of East Carolina at Minges Coliseum. Adams tied his career high with 12 assists and scored 13 points in the regular-season finale for both teams. Teammates Josh Carlton (20 points), Tyler Polley (19 points) and Christian Vital (16 points) all benefited from having Adams back in the lineup as the Huskies (15-16, 6-12 American Athletic Conference) won on an opponent's home floor for the first time this season.
"Being at one school for four years, it's only right you get to put on the jersey to close out the end of the season," Adams said. "It just meant a lot to be out there with my brothers. It's probably my last time to be playing on a team where everyone genuinely cares for me and loves me. After this, it's probably going to be just business."
ECU (10-20, 3-15) got 20 points from Shawn Williams and 18 points and 11 assists from senior guard Isaac Fleming on senior day. The Pirates trailed just 64-62 after a basket by Jayden Gardner with 5:36 left.
But the Pirates didn't make another field goal until just 57 seconds remained.
"When it's a two-point game you need to play safer and make easier plays and make sure you're getting a shot every time," said ECU coach Joe Dooley. "With the exception of turning the ball over, I thought we were pretty efficient offensively."
UConn also was careless with the basketball at times, committing 15 turnovers. But with Adams back in the lineup, the Huskies shot a season-high 62.5 percent from the field and also made 16 of their 19 free throws.
Carlton, the 6-foot-10 center who dominated in the low post, was the team's most efficient shooter, making 8 of 9 from the field. Polley scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half, when he shot 4 of 5 from 3-point range. And Sidney Wilson, who scored 10 points off the bench, was 5 of 6 from the field. >> Read More
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