UConn offers powerful reminder of how good it can be with wire-to-wire 87-72 win over No. 10 Marquette

Joe Arruda, Hartford Courant on

Published in Basketball

HARTFORD, Conn. — Plenty had forgotten why the UConn men’s basketball team was once ranked No. 2 in the nation and how they’d gotten to that point.

Tuesday’s dominant 87-72 win at the XL Center over No. 10 Marquette was a reminder.

The Huskies (19-6, 8-6 Big East) were red hot coming out of the gate, shooting 54.5% from the field and 54.8% from 3-point range in the first half. Marquette, on the other hand, shot just 36.7% from the field and made 2 of 12 3-pointers as the Huskies built their lead to as many as 20 points in the game’s first 20 minutes.

When Tristen Newton grabbed his 10th rebound with 3:42 left on the game clock, the senior transfer etched his name in the UConn men’s basketball history books as the first to ever record multiple triple-doubles in the same season. Newton finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists — a season-high.

It started with a Jordan Hawkins 3-pointer as the shot clock expired on the opening possession. Then Alex Karaban found Adama Sanogo for a floater through the lane and Andre Jackson — after emphatically slamming down a lob pass from Newton — raced to the other end of the court and chased down Oso Ighodaro for the Huskies’ second denial in the first four minutes.

Eight different Huskies finished the first half with points on the board, Hawkins leading the way with 14 after his first five shots.

The offensive struggles didn’t slow down for the Huskies until there were just less than four minutes left on the clock. UConn missed six shots in a row from the field and Marquette (19-6, 11-3 Big East) cut its deficit to 14 with five seconds left until the break. Then Nahiem Alleyne gathered the inbound pass and sprinted, chucking up a shot from the left eye of the center court Husky logo.

Alleyne’s shot banked off the backboard and in.


Coming out of the break with a 17-point, 46-29 advantage, UConn built its lead up to 22 with five consecutive points including a 3-pointer from Newton.

The gas pedal stuck on the floor, UConn’s ball movement and shot-making was reminiscent of the 2022 Huskies. Newton fired a pass across the court to Karaban, who made an easy move to the basket and threw it down.

The sold-out crowd of 15,564 inside Hartford’s XL Center hadn’t lost their voices yet.

With the exception of an 8-0 Marquette scoring run in the second half that cut the UConn lead from its peak of 25 down to 17, the Huskies had control of the game from start to finish.

For the game, the Huskies shot at a 50% clip from the field and made 12 of 23 from deep while outrebounding the Golden Eagles, 48-24. UConn assisted on 20 of its 31 made field goals.

On a night of balanced dominance, Hawkins led the way with 20 points while making five of his eight 3-point attempts. Sanogo scored 18 points with seven rebounds, while Karaban missed just one of his six shot attempts and finished with 13 points. Alleyne, who reached double-digit scoring for the first time since he scored 11 on Dec. 10 against LIU, received a nice ovation when he exited the game with 13 points on 3-for-6 shooting from deep.

The first tough test of the week passed, UConn has another on Saturday when they visit streaking Creighton in Omaha, Neb.

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