Newton scores 31 points in No. 4 UConn’s loss to No. 5 Kansas

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Despite 31 points from graduate guard Tristen Newton (El Paso, Texas) the No. 4 UConn men’s basketball team (7-1) dropped a 69-65 decision at No. 5 Kansas on Friday night at Allen Fieldhouse. The contest was part of the BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle.

Newton kept the Huskies in a game they trailed by double-digits early, canning six 3-pointers and helping UConn pull ahead midway through the second half. He was joined in double-figures by Alex Karaban (Southborough, Mass.) who scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds in the top-five showdown between the last two national champions.

How it Happened

After the two sides traded early points, Kansas rattled off a 10-0 run that gave the Jayhawks a 16-5 lead and forced a UConn timeout with 14:43 to go in the first half.

Overall, the Jayhawks would make 12-of-17 from the floor to open the contest and shot over 50  percent in the opening 20. A huge first half for Newton, who scored 16 in the opening frame, kept the Huskies in striking distance at the break down 38-31.

UConn came out of the half with the first five points of the second stanza to cut the KU lead to a single basket. The Huskies stayed within a possession for the early goings of the second half, until Newton drilled his fifth 3-pointer of the game to give UConn its first lead at 47-46 midway through the second.

The Huskies were able to extend their lead to as many as five and were up 54-50 before an 11-0 spurt for the Jayhawks pushed their lead back to seven at 61-54 ahead of the final media timeout. UConn pulled back within two late and had a look at a 3-pointer to take a lead in the final seconds, but it rimmed out and KU was able to ice the game.

Inside The Numbers

  • The Huskies shot a season-low 41.1 percent from the floor and 39.3 percent from 3-point range

  • The 11 made 3-pointers for Connecticut tied a season-high

  • UConn finished +1 on the glass, getting a team-high seven rebounds from Donovan Clingan (Bristol, Conn.) and six apiece from Karaban and Newton

  • Both squads turned the ball over only eight times, a season-low for UConn

News and Notes

  • The top-five showdown was a first for UConn since 2009 and the first in a non-conference game since 1999

  • Newton’s 31 points marked a new UConn high mark. It was his second 20-plus point effort of the season and the sixth of his UConn career

  • It was the first 30-point effort for a Husky this season and first overall since Jordan Hawkins had 31 vs. St. John’s on Jan. 15, 2023

  • UConn is now 0-4 all-time against Kansas and 1-2 in the BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle

  • The loss snapped an NCAA-long 13-game winning streak and an NCAA record 24-game winning streak against non-conference foes by double-figues

Up Next

The Huskies continue their non-conference slate with another ranked foe, facing No. 17 North Carolina in the Jimmy V Classic. Tip-off from Madison Square Garden on Dec. 5 is set for 9 p.m.

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