Recap: Connecticut vs. DePaul
New York, NY (Sports Network) - The Connecticut Huskies began the 2012 Big East Tournament in the exact same fashion as their historic five-game championship run a year ago.
Jeremy Lamb scored 25 points to go with five rebounds and four assists as ninth-seeded UConn opened this year's festivities at Madison Square Garden with an 81-67 victory over 16th-seeded DePaul.
Last year, again as the ninth seed, the Huskies downed the Blue Demons, 97-71, in the first round and went on to beat Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Louisville to claim their seventh Big East tourney title. Of course, they also followed it up by winning the national championship.
Ryan Boatright had 19 points, seven assists and five rebounds on Tuesday, while Andre Drummond added 12 points for UConn (19-12), which will play eighth-seeded West Virginia in the second round on Wednesday.
Cleveland Melvin and Moses Morgan netted 19 points apiece for DePaul (12-19).
Lamb nailed three treys and began 6-of-7 from the floor for 15 points, as UConn opened a 30-21 lead midway through the first half.
The Huskies knocked down their first seven shots from beyond the arc and Boatright's four-point play made it 35-25 with 6:50 left in the opening half.
UConn took a 46-33 advantage into the locker room. The Huskies shot 55 percent from the field, while limiting DePaul to just 29 percent. Lamb led all first- half scorers with 17 points.
Drummond netted six points during an 8-2 UConn spurt to start the second stanza as the Huskies took a commanding 54-35 lead.
The lead swelled to as much as 24, but an 8-1 DePaul flurry, capped by Morgan's three-pointer, cut the deficit to nine, 70-61, with 7:20 left. But the Blue Demons never got any closer as UConn cruised to the easy win.Game Notes