HARTFORD, Connecticut (Ticker) -- Connecticut is ready to return to the throne.
All-Americans Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon each scored 25 points as the second-ranked Huskies cruised to their sixth straight win, a 101-62 rout of Ball State at the Hartford Civic Center.
Connecticut (9-1) began the season as the nation's top-ranked team before a shocking 77-61 loss to Georgia Tech on November 26. The Huskies are poised to reclaim the top spot after Kentucky was beaten by Louisville to Saturday, becoming the fourth No. 1 team to lose this season.
Gordon had seven points in a 16-6 tear to close the first half that opened up a 41-23 lead for Connecticut. Okafor and Gordon started the second half with easy baskets to trigger a timeout by the Cardinals, who were overwhelmed the rest of the way.
"I thought that was a great way for us to come out and kill every fire or determination they had, and it sparked us as a team," Gordon said.
Okafor also grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked five shots as he had his way with the smaller Cardinals, notching his 34th career double-double. UConn netted a whopping 56 points in the paint and Taliek Brown, who had eight assists, spearheaded a fast break that produced 30 points.
"They had no one, physically, who was going to play Emeka," Huskies coach Jim Calhoun said. "And when Denham (Brown) and Ben play like that, which is the way we expect them to play, we're awfully hard to beat."
The Huskies finished the game at 56 percent (41-of-71), including a 25-of-34 performance in the second half. They forced 17 turnovers.
Taliek Brown produced a tremendous floor game with six points and eight assists as the much-criticized point guard had no trouble with Ball State's Dennis Trammell, who committed five turnovers.
"We just came out really explosive, really ready to go in the second half," Taliek Brown said. "We got a quick steal, Ben scored and everyone was really into it."
Cameron Echols had 22 points for Ball State (3-5), which has lost four straight.
"I don't know why they call them the UConn Huskies, they should call them the Charlotte Bobcats because that is a professional outfit there," Ball State coach Tim Buckley said. "What gets lost in the shuffle, I think, because of all of the talent they have is that they are as well a coached team as we've ever prepared for."
The Cardinals shot just under 35 percent (25-of-72), the first time in four games the Huskies allowed an opponent to shoot over 30 percent.