Purnell Finishes 1st DePaul Season, 7-24

NEW YORK (AP) — Kemba Walker scored 26 points and Connecticut (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today, No. 21 AP) won a Big East tournament game for the first time in six years, beating DePaul 97-71 on Tuesday in the opener of a conference showcase loaded with NCAA contenders.

Jeremy Lamb, playing on a sore knee, had 17 of his 19 points in the first half for the Huskies (22-9), who got back on track after losing four of their final five regular-season games. No. 9 seed UConn advanced to play Wednesday against No. 22 Georgetown, the No. 8 seed at Madison Square Garden.

The Huskies had lost six straight Big East tournament games since beating Georgetown in the 2005 quarterfinals, a surprising streak of futility for a school that has won two national championships and six Big East tourney titles under Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun.

Former Clemson coach Oliver Purnell finishes his first season at DePaul with a 7-24 overall record, 1-17 in the Big East.