By Julie Glass

Shizz Alston Jr. had 18 points and Nate Pierre-Louis scored 12 in the first half to lead the Temple to an 81-63 victory over visiting UConn.

Justyn Hamilton added 13 points for the Owls (17-6, 7-3 American Athletic Conference).

Temple made its first six shots and just kept on hitting. The Owls sank 10 of 11 to take a 25-10 lead, 13 of 16 to go in front 33-14 and entered the break ahead 46-20, setting a season-high for points in the first half.

“The hoop was looking real big for us early,” Alston (above) said. “A lot of different guys were scoring.”

Temple made 18 of 29 field goals and 5 of 11 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes.

“It looks like you know what you’re doing when you make shots,” Owls coach Fran Dunphy said. “Everybody participated. It looked like it was our night.”

The Huskies never got close in the second half, and the most excitement came with 16:20 remaining when Pierre-Louis finished a breakaway with a windmill dunk.

Josh Carlton and Christian Vital had 18 points apiece to pace UConn (13-10, 4-6).

Huskies coach Danny Hurley bemoaned his team’s play at the outset.

“We just were not ready to go,” Hurley said. “They were able to get comfortable and confident.”

“If we were a really good team, we’d get off to better starts,” Hurley added. “But we’re not a really good team. We got our butts kicked by a team that outclassed us today.”