BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- Only two things went wrong for Connecticut in its second-round Phoenix Region matchup against DePaul: it missed its first nine shots and coach Jim Calhoun had to leave the bench early because he was not feeling well.
Ben Gordon scored 18 points and Emeka Okafor added 10 and 12 rebounds for the second-seeded Huskies, who shut down the seventh-seeded Blue Demons, 72-55, to advance to the "Sweet 16" for the eighth time in 11 years.
Calhoun left the game with 11:20 remaining and his team up by 53-36. Assistant George Blaney coached the Huskies until Calhoun returned with 1:54 left.
"We're two games away from where we want to be," said Calhoun, who was suffering from a stomach virus. "Who knows if we'll get there or not, but we know we're going to Phoenix. We're a very happy bunch."
Despite missing their first nine shots, the Huskies (29-6) jumped out to an 11-0 lead before Drake Diener got DePaul on the board with a 3-pointer 5:40 into the contest. The Blue Demons missed their first 10 shots.
"We were on the attack and we knew we needed to come out with more emotion than what we had against Vermont (in the first round on Thursday)," said Gordon, who helped hold DePaul point guard Sammy Mejia scoreless on 0-of-5 shooting.
The Huskies, who await the winner of Sunday's Vanderbilt-North Carolina State matchup, stretched their advantage to 35-12 on a layup by Denham Brown with three minutes left in the first half and took a 39-20 advantage into the break.
"I couldn't be prouder of our kids and the way they came out," Calhoun said. "They did the two things we asked them to do, which were defend and run. The first half was pretty close to a clinic for us as far as running the fast break."
Denham Brown scored 12 points off the bench and Taliek Brown added 11 for the Huskies, who led by at least 15 points in the second half.
Diener had 15 points and a career-high 10 rebounds for DePaul (23-9), whose coach, Dave Leitao, played for Calhoun at Northeastern and was his assistant there and with Connecticut.
"I told him if he's going to kick my (rear) like that, he had better win the whole thing, because if he doesn't, I'm going to be (ticked)," Leitao said.
The Huskies shot just 43 percent (26-of-60) but limited the Blue Demons to 34 percent (20-of-59).
Delonte Holland and Quemont Greer scored 12 points apiece and Andre Brown had 11 points for DePaul, which reached the second round with a 76-69 double-overtime triumph over Dayton on Thursday.
"The first 22 minutes was not DePaul basketball," Leitao said. "I really don't pay much attention to anything but our body language, and our body language was bad the first 22 minutes. I thought if we were going to play bad and lose, we should do it the way we've played basketball all year."
Backup guard LeVar Seals, who returned from a one-game suspension for punching Cincinnati's Tony Bobbitt in the Conference USA title game, was held scoreless in 12 minutes.