Hartford, Conn.— The University at Buffalo men’s basketball team (1-2, 0-0 MAC) dropped their contest against #25 ranked UConn Huskies (3-0, 0-0 BIG EAST) on Tuesday evening in Hartford, Conn. Bulls lost by a score of 84-64.
Tristen Newton had 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his first career triple-double for the Huskies.
It was the 12th triple-double in UConn history and the first since Daniel Hamilton’s 11 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists on Dec. 23, 2015 against Central Connecticut State.
”I feel pretty good about getting my teammates involved and getting on the glass,” said Newton, a senior transfer from East Carolina. ”It wasn’t just me, it was a collective group.”
After trailing 7-0 early into the game, Buffalo battled fought back to make it an 11-10 UConn lead at the under-12 media timeout. Out of the break, Zid Powell snatched a defensive board and made an open layup to give the Bulls a 12-11 lead. In that stretch, Buffalo held the Huskies to 1 for their last 14 from the hardwood.
The Huskies reclaimed the lead back after a made free throw to make it 15-14 with 8:16 before the break. At the half, Buffalo trailed 44-28. Armoni Foster led the team in scoring at the half with nine points.
The Bulls got in foul trouble early in the game and could not recover. Compared to UConn’s 13 fouls, Buffalo finished with 23 on the night with two players fouling out. Tristen Newton of UConn took it to the Bulls as he finished 14-of-17 from the free throw line. He went on to finish the game with a triple double (22 points, 10 boards, 11 assts.)
Newton shot 4 of 14 from the field but drew 13 fouls and went 14 of 17 from the line.
”In the first half (Newton) really bothered us and got to the line,” Buffalo coach Jim Whitesell said.
Joey Calcaterra came off the bench to score 15 points and Nahiem Alleyne chipped in 12 for the Huskies.
The Huskies were missing two injured starters (Jordan Hawkins and Andre Jackson), and preseason Big East Player of the Year Adama Sanogo got into foul trouble, but UConn stuck with the game plan and took it to the Bulls.
”You’re missing two of your best players. The best player in the league and your best player had an off-game that your not going to get from him very often,” UConn coach Dan Hurley said. ”Usually, that’s a recipe for losing and the depth showed up.”
Sanogo, who averaged 23 points in UConn’s first two contests, scored a season-low 11 points. He picked up his third foul less than a minute into the second half with UConn leading 44-28. When he returned, the Huskies’ lead had ballooned to 63-39.
Kidtrell Blocker and Foster finished the game leading the team with 11 points apiece. Freshman Isaac Jack had a great game underneath battling UConn’s bigs. Jack finished with nine points, three boards, and two blocks. He was also perfect on the night as he went 4-for-4 on the floor and 1-1 from the charity stripe.
”I appreciate it because I love the coaching and it’s going to make me better,” Newton said. ”He’s pretty much hard on me for not being aggressive and defensive obviously, but having him put that confidence in me makes me feel like I can go out there and play well every single game.”
Buffalo: Hosts Drake on Friday before leaving for two games at the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
UConn: Continues its five-game homestand to open the season with UNC-Wilmington on Friday at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs.