HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Rodney Purvis scored 28 points and No. 25 UConn beat UMass-Lowell 88-79 on Sunday.
The Huskies (7-3), who were playing without injured 7-foot center Amida Brimah, relied on their guards in the victory.
Daniel Hamilton had 12 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Sterling Gibbs scored 15 points and Omar Calhoun had 14.
The Huskies made 64 percent of their shots from the floor, while Lowell shot 50 percent.
Jahad Thomas led UMass-Lowell (4-7) with 19 points and Josh Gantz had 18. Matt Harris and Isaac White each scored 11.
The Huskies led by as many as 14 points in the second half, but had a tough time.
A 3-pointer by D.J. Mlachnik closed the gap to 81-75 with under 2 minutes left, but UConn hit seven of its eight foul shots down the stretch to hold off the River Hawks.
UConn has won consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 25. UMass-Lowell has lost five of its last six games.
The Huskies led by six points at halftime and just 62-55 before a 7-0 run led mostly by Purvis’ jumper and 3-pointer on consecutive possessions.
Brimah suffered a testicular contusion last week, and UConn clearly missed his defensive presence early on. The River Hawks’ Matt Harris hit two early 3-pointers, and the team used a 7-0 run to take a 20-13 lead and force UConn coach Kevin Ollie to take a timeout.
The Huskies went to a full-court press and took the lead back 26-25 when Hamilton found Phil Nolan under the basket for a layup.
UConn hit 67 percent of its shots in the first half yet had a 43-37 lead at halftime.
A 3-pointer from Purvis gave UConn its first double-digit lead at 51-41 early in the second half, but Ryan Jones responded with a 3-pointer for the River Hawks.
UConn outrebounded UMass-Lowell 30-18. The River Hawks have only three players taller than 6-foot-4 and none taller than 6-foot-8.
UMass-Lowell, which started the season 3-2, has lost five of its six games in December. The lone win came Dec. 6 over a Boston College team that was depleted by food poisoning. Lowell has eight first-year players on its roster.
UMass-Lowell: The River Hawks have lost two straight road games to teams from Connecticut, including an 83-79 loss Friday to Central Connecticut – UConn’s next opponent.
UConn: Brimah had played in a team-high 84 consecutive games dating back to his freshman season and had started 44 straight. The team says his injury is not serious and his absence was precautionary. Daniel Hamilton leads the team in consecutive games with 45.
UMass-Lowell: The River Hawks, who had seven of eight road games this month, will head to Piscataway, New Jersey, to face Rutgers on Dec. 28.
UConn: The Huskies host Central Connecticut on Wednesday before taking on the Texas Longhorns on Dec. 29 in Austin, Texas.