Top-ranked UConn steamrolls Villanova, 78-54

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Cam Spencer tied his season high with 25 points, Tristen Newton recorded his fourth career triple-double and top-ranked UConn bounced back from its first loss since December with a 78-54 win over Villanova on Saturday night.

Newton, who assisted on a 3-pointer from Alex Karaban with 25 seconds to go, finished with 10 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists for the Huskies (25-3, 15-2 Big East), who lead the Big East by two games in the loss column with three to play in the regular season.

Stephon Castle had 14 points for UConn and Donovan Clingan added 13.

Eric Dixon scored 20 points and TJ Bamba had 13 for Villanova (15-12, 8-8), which had won three straight and four of its last five games.

Four days after giving up 85 points in a 19-point loss to Creighton, The Huskies held the Wildcats to 33% shooting and Villanova made just three of 24 shots from 3-point range.

UConn led 31-21 at the half. But a 3-pointer by Eric Dixon five minutes into the second half cut that lead to 38-33.

It was 45-40 when Spencer drained another 3-pointer and followed with a traditional 3-point play. That highlighted a 12-0 run that gave the Huskies a 57-40 lead.


Villanova: The Wildcats came into the game needing a win to boost their NCAA Tournament resume. They have four games left, including a contest at home against No. 15 Creighton.

UConn: The Huskies retired the No. 32 of former star Richard “Rip” Hamilton at halftime. Hamilton scored 2,036 points in his three seasons at UConn and led the Huskies to the first of their five national titles in 1999. He joins Ray Allen, Rebecca Lobo and Swin Cash as the only UConn players to have their numbers retired. The school says Donovan Clingan will be allowed to continue wearing the number.


Villanova: The Wildcats return home to host Georgetown on Tuesday night.

UConn: The Huskies don’t play again until March 3, when they host Seton Hall.