Newton’s triple-double leads No. 25 UConn past Buffalo
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Tristen Newton had 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his first career triple-double, and No. 25 UConn beat Buffalo 84-64 on Tuesday night.
Joey Calcaterra came off the bench to score 15 points and Nahiem Alleyne added 12 for the Huskies (3-0).
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.”
Armoni Foster led the Bulls (1-2) with 11 points.
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 the newly acquired veterans in its backcourt brought UConn to life.
Calcaterra transferred from San Diego and Alleyne from Virginia Tech.
“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 games, 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 grown to 63-39.
Freshmen Donovan Clingan and Alex Karaban added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Huskies struggled at the outset, hitting only 4 of 22 from the field, including a stretch of 11 straight misses.
Isaiah Adams gave Buffalo its final lead at 14-13 with 8:55 left in the first half.
Newton and Calcaterra reinvigorated the Huskies. Newton scored 12 of his 15 first-half points and Calcaterra adding 10 during a 31-14 closing run that pushed UConn in front 44-28 at the half.
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.
Newton struggled offensively in his first two games with the Huskies, especially shooting the ball where he was a combined 4 of 15. Hurley kept on him to improve.
“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.”
Hawkins (concussion) and Jackson (fractured right pinky) are both close to returning. Jackson, who has been sidelined since mid-October, is expected to be cleared for full contact on Thursday. The Huskies are also without sophomore Samson Johnson (right foot).
UConn opened the week by cracking the AP Top 25 and showed it belongs there with a dominant victory.
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.
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