The UConn Huskies passed their first big test of the season with flying colors, beating Indiana 77-57 and doing it without starting point guard Stephon Castle, who missed his second straight game with a knee injury.
UConn (4-0) got off to a slow start but Alex Karaban and Tristen Newton helped the Huskies build a lead up to double-digits, scoring 11 points each in the first half as they took a 37-30 advantage into halftime. Newton finished with 23 points and notched a double-double, grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out six assists. Karaban finished with 13.
Cam Spencer was UConn’s second-leading scorer, dropping 11 in the second half to help the Huskies maintain their lead as he finished with 18 points, five rebounds, and two assists. Donovan Clingan was challenged down low and met it with aggression but also had some struggles. He finished with seven points, hitting 5-of-8 free throws and grabbing nine boards while also blocking two shots.
Spencer, Clingan, and Newton sparked the Huskies as they put the game away for good with a 10-0 run after Indiana starting forward Malik Renault fouled out. He had 18 points on the day to lead the Hoosiers.
Once again, Solo Ball got the start in place of the injured Stephon Castle. In his second start of the season, Ball showed what he’s capable of but missed his first few shots before knocking down a three early in the second half. He finished with nine points on 4-of-10 shooting in 26 minutes.
The Huskies shot slightly better from the field, 45 percent to 38 percent, and did better behind the arc on a day when neither team was very good from deep. They dominated the rebounding battle, 44-22.
Next up, the Huskies have the Empire Classic final, where they will meet the winner of Louisville vs. Texas (probably Texas). The game will be televised on ESPNU at 7 p.m.