Second-year head coach Dan Hurley sounded impressed with what he saw from his bench Sunday in UConn's 64-40 win over Maine.
As the Huskies (5-2) ran away from the Black Bears (2-5) before 7,129 at XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, they did so behind their second unit, headlined by the backup guard duo sophomore Brendan Adams and freshman James Bouknight.
The two combined for 26 of UConn's 29 bench points, splitting the total between Bouknight's team-high 15 and Adams' 11 to fuel the Huskies' 33-16 rout in the second half.
"Coming off the bench is always important, just bringing energy," Adams said. "This whole game was kind of about energy for us, so I knew I had to bring intensity, defensive pressure and that's kind of just what I wanted to do in the second half."
Among the team's starting five, junior guard Alterique Gilbert (13 points) and junior forward Tyler Polley (12 points) paced the UConn, which has now bounced back from Nov. 22's 75-74 loss to Xavier in double overtime with consecutive wins, including last Sunday's 80-55 rout of Miami.
The Huskies remain home Wednesday at 7 p.m. on SNY against Iona (2-2), which suffered losses at La Salle (70-64 overtime, Nov. 9) and Ohio (81-72, Nov. 13) before it rebounded with its wins over fellow mid-majors Stetson (60-55, Nov. 22) and Kennesaw State (75-62, Nov. 23).
"With Brendan showing us what he's showing us and James is showing what he's showing us and (freshman guard Jalen) Gaffney, even though he didn't put up great numbers out there is looking more comfortable, and then obviously we hope to get (freshman guard Sidney Wilson) back, really, really soon," Hurley said, "you go nine or 10 deep and you feel like you've got quality. Now you can go and get after people and we have an athletic team, so you definitely try to extend our pressure."