Vital scores 23, leads UConn to 69-47 rout of NJIT

NCAA Men's Basketball
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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP)Christian Vital scored 23 points and UConn ended the 2019 portion of its season with a 69-47 rout of NJIT.

Vital hit eight of his 15 shots and was 5 of 8 from 3-point range.

Brendan Adams added 12 points for the Huskies (9-3), who have won six of their last seven heading into conference play. Akok Akok chipped in with seven points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.

UConn never trailed. Akok scored five of the Huskies first nine points and UConn jumped out to a 12-4 lead. Three straight 3-pointers, two of them from Vital, sparked a 13-0 run that gave the Huskies early control of the game at 25-10.

UConn had seven 3-pointers in the half and led 35-20 at the break. They extended that by going on an 14-3 run to open the second half.

Souleymane Diakite had a double-double for NJIT, scoring 12 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. He also blocked six shots. Zach Cooks, who came in averaging just over 23 points per game, also scored 12 points for the Highlanders, who fall to 3-10.

The Huskies outrebounded NJIT 43-32 and got into their transition game, outscoring the Highlanders 19-3 on the fast break.

BIG PICTURE

NJIT: Cooks has now led NJIT or tied for the lead in scoring in 12 of 13 games this season. But he wasn’t a big factor in this one, scoring just four points in the first half. He hit just four of his 12 shots from the floor.

UConn: The Huskies shot 40% from the field, but were much better from 3-point range, hitting 11 of their 25 shots from behind the arc (44%)

UP NEXT

NJIT: The Highlanders are off until Jan. 4 when they host Liberty.

UConn: The Huskies open conference play in their last year as a member of the American Athletic Conference with a trip to Cincinnati. It will be UConn’s first true road game this season.

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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