Connecticut 69, Saint John's 65

College Basketball

Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. - Tristen Newton scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half, including a key free throw with just under 17 seconds left, and No. 5 UConn held off St. John’s 69-65.

Samson Johnson, starting in place of injured center Donovan Clingan, added 16 points for the Huskies (11-2, 1-1 Big East) and Cam Spencer scored 15.

Joel Soriano had 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead St. John’s, which had won six of seven. Daniss Jenkins added 13 points for the Red Storm (8-4, 1-1).

The game was tied at 63 before a driving layup by Newton and another by Stephon Castle put Connecticut up by four with two minutes left.

Soriano’s layup brought the Red Storm to 67-65, but teammate Chris Ledlum missed two free throws with just under 18 seconds left before Newton hit one of two at the line.

Jenkins missed a 3-pointer that would have tied it for St. John’s, and Hassan Diarra sank a foul shot with five seconds remaining to seal the win.

St. John’s led by six at halftime and extended that to eight with the first bucket of the second half.

But seconds later, Spencer made a 3 and Newton, after a little altercation with Glenn Taylor Jr. of St. John’s, converted a three-point play as part of a 10-0 run for UConn.

A 3-pointer by Spencer after an offensive rebound gave the Huskies a 44-41 lead and they held the advantage until Taylor hit a 3 with 4 1/2 minutes left to put St. John’s back in front 63-61.


St. John’s: Soriano came into the game averaging 18 points and just over 11 rebounds per game and has reached double figures in rebounds in five straight games.

UConn: The Huskies will be without the 7-foot-2 Clingan for about a month. The school said the sophomore, who missed a month of the preseason with a right foot injury, injured a tendon in the same foot Wednesday during a loss at Seton Hall. Connecticut coach Dan Hurley said the two injuries are not related. Clingan had been averaging just under 14 points and just over six rebounds a game.

December 23, 2023