New York, NY (Sports Network) - Kemba Walker finished with 26 points, leading No. 21 Connecticut to a 97-71 victory against DePaul in the opening contest of the Big East Tournament.
Connecticut had not won in this tournament since March 10, 2005 against Georgetown, and will face the Hoyas in the second round on Wednesday.
The Huskies' lead was seven with about nine minutes to play, but they pulled away with a 17-3 run. They shot better than 61 percent and made 29-of-32 free throws in the blowout win.
Brandon Young scored 20 points to lead DePaul (7-24), which was coming off a 107-59 loss to Syracuse on the road in the regular-season finale.