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UConn men’s basketball falls at Seton Hall, 75-60

The Huskies kicked off Big East play with a particularly weak performance.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Kadary Richmond did it again. (Does he have a phD yet?)

UConn men’s basketball dropped its Big East opener, losing 75-60 to Seton Hall at the Prudential Center. This is the eighth time in nine years the Huskies have lost their conference debut and the second year in a row losing at Seton Hall. Richmond had 23 points to lead all scorers.

Alex Karaban and Cam Spencer were among the UConn stars struggling, combining for 14 points on 5-of-19 shooting from the field. Karaban was scoreless in the first half and Spencer didn’t score in the second half before fouling out.

Donovan Clingan left the game early in the second half favoring his foot and did not return but was still UConn’s second-leading scorer with 14 points. Tristen Newton scored 16 to lead the visitors as nobody else was in double digits for Dan Hurley’s squad.

Newton started the scoring with two straight threes, but it was a sluggish start for both sides. The Huskies managed to build a 20-10 lead early on but their shots went cold as they allowed a 21-7 run and went into the halftime break trailing by five. Seton Hall’s zone defense flummoxed the Huskies and the home team was also getting lots of easier, close buckets late in the first half and into the second.

Seton Hall maintained control in the second half, and UConn did not respond well. Its shot selection and decision-making trailed off, as the Huskies finished with a season-high 17 turnovers, which led to 17 points for the Pirates. Seton Hall also managed an alarming 18-0 advantage in fast-break points while shooting an impressive 52 percent from the field on the game.

This was Stephon Castle’s fourth game back from a knee injury that sidelined him for six games. He had four points and two assists in 20 minutes, but his plus/minus was -18. Only Newton and Samson Johnson at -20 had a worse figure there.

Next up, the Huskies are home for their final game before the new year. They’ll host St. John’s at the XL Center, with tip-off set for 8:00 p.m. on FOX.