NEWARK, N.J. — R.J. Cole scored 15 points and No. 15 Connecticut surged midway through the second half to beat St. Bonaventure 74-64 on Saturday.
Akok Akok added 12 points and Jordan Hawkins had 11 for UConn (8-1).
St. Bonaventure (8-2) took a 39-36 lead on Jalen Adaway’s two free throws before the Huskies scored 13 straight points to take control.
The Bonnies cut the deficit to five on two occasions, including on Osun Osunniyi’s layup to make it 64-59 with just under two minutes to play.
Jaren Holmes had 17 points, eight rebounds, and five assists for the Bonnies and Dominick Welch had 15 points and seven rebounds.
Tyler Polley added 13 points off the bench for UConn.
After its first loss of the season in a close one at West Virginia, UConn should stay around where it is. Meantime, St. Bonaventure, which started the year in the Top 25, won’t make it back after receiving votes last week.
LOFTON REMAINS OUT
St. Bonaventure was without star point guard Kyle Lofton (ankle). The senior point guard had started 93 in his career and had dished out 41 percent of the team’s assists the last three seasons.
St. Bonaventure: Starting the season in the Top 25, the Bonnies have looked like a favorite to win the A-10. They still do, even without Lofton, who will only make things better upon his return.
UConn: Fourth-year coach Danny Hurley is expected to take the Huskies to the next level this year as he leads the storied program back to prominence. It’s a long way until March, but UConn looks the part of one of the top teams in the Big East and making noise again nationally as conference play is set to begin.
The game was part of the Never Forget Tribute Classic at the Prudential Center in Newark, raising money for a 9/11-related charity. It was the second game of a doubleheader. In the opener, the No. 3 UConn women defeated UCLA 71-61.
St. Bonaventure: Play Virginia Tech in the Basketball Hall of Fame Shootout in Charlotte on Friday.
UConn: Begin Big East play hosting Providence on Saturday.