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No. 1 UConn men’s basketball takes down St. John’s, 77-64

The Huskies won its 10th-straight game on the back of strong performances from Cam Spencer and Stephon Castle.

NCAA Basketball: Connecticut at St. John Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

No.1 UConn fought through a tough first half, pulling away in the second half from St.John’s to win by a score of 77-64.

Cam Spencer led the team with 23 points, 17 of which came in the second half of the game as he was one of the biggest components to the Huskies (20-2, 10-1 Big East) pulling away right after halftime. Stephon Castle would add a second straight 20+ point game, scoring 21 points on 7-12 shooting from the field (58%). Tristen Newton was the lone other Husky with double-digit points, putting up 18 points, 10 of which came from free throws.

UConn started off the game very strong, pulling away with a 12-5 lead only four minutes into the game on the back of a three and a short shot each by Newton and Castle, and then a dunk by Donovan Clingan in fast-break transition.

UConn was much stronger this game in terms of distributing their fouls among everyone, while they did have seven in the first half, only two players ended up with more than one in that first 20 minutes (Clingan and Jaylin Stewart). The Huskies also looked exceptionally strong with free throws, making all but two going 20-22, the first miss coming with 4:43 left in the second half.

The Red Storm took a five-point lead right before halftime before back to back dunks from Samson Johnson and Castle dunks brought it back within one where it would remain until the 37-36 halftime lead for St. John’s.

The second half started off back and forth, with the teams trading the lead back and forth for the first five or so minutes. However, with about 10 minutes left, UConn started to pull away, grabbing an eight-point lead which eventually developed into the 13-point final lead. Cam Spencer as previously mentioned was a large part of this, scoring constantly through the second half and showing some true dominance to pull the Huskies away.

The main keys to victory for the Huskies were the three-point game, rebounds, and free throw effectiveness.

UConn three-pointers: 7 for 15 (46.7%)

St. John’s three-pointers: 4 for 14 (28.6%)

UConn rebounds: 38 total (28 defensive, 10 offensive)

St. John’s rebounds: 23 total (17 defensive, 6 offensive)

UConn free throws: 20 for 22 (90.9%) on 19 fouls taken

St. John’s free throws: 14 for 21 (66.7%) on 16 fouls taken

Overall, a very strong game for the Huskies, showing how quickly they can turn things around. This game was also won without Alex Karaban, who was crucial in their last win against the Providence Friars. Clingan also had a slower game, with only five points, five rebounds, and four fouls.