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UConn a step from Final Four after 88-65 blowout of Arkansas

UConn a step from Final Four after 88-65 blowout of Arkansas

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jordan Hawkins scored 24 points for UConn and the Huskies are one step away from the Final Four after an 88-65 rout of Arkansas 88-65 in a West Region Sweet 16 matchup Thursday.

The fourth-seeded Huskies (28-8) will play the winner of UCLA or Gonzaga in an Elite Eight game Saturday in Las Vegas. Arkansas’ season ended at 22-14.

UConn played like a team capable of winning its fifth NCAA Tournament title and first since 2014. The Huskies have outscored their three March Madness opponents by 62 points.

They won their first two games by outscoring Iona and Saint Mary’s by a combined 86-49 in the second half. UConn surged early against Arkansas with a 14-point run and took a 46-29 lead into halftime.

The Huskies never trailed and led by as many as 29 points when they went up 62-33. Arkansas answered with a 10-point run in just 27 seconds, but the outcome was never in doubt.

UConn, which has won nine of its past 10 games, shot 57.4% compared to 31.7% for Arkansas. The Huskies dominated inside by outrebounding the Razorbacks 43-31 and outscoring them 42-24 in the lane.

Adama Sanogo scored 18 points, Alex Karaban had 11 and Nahiem Alleyene 10 for UConn. Sanogo, who also had eight rebounds, has scored 71 points in 75 minutes this tournament.

Anthony Black led Arkansas with 20 points, Ricky Council IV had 17 and Nick Smith Jr. 11.

Arkansas, which was seeded eighth, was in the Sweet 16 for the third year in a row. The Razorbacks also reached the Elite Eight the past two years, and a third consecutive appearance would have been a first in program history.

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