College Basketball
UConn opens postseason with 87-60 rout of Xavier in Big East quarterfinal
College Basketball

UConn opens postseason with 87-60 rout of Xavier in Big East quarterfinal

Published Mar. 14, 2024 2:48 p.m. ET

Tristen Newton and Donovan Clingan each had 13 points and seven rebounds and No. 2 UConn blitzed Xavier in the second half Thursday, opening the postseason with an 87-60 blowout in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals.

Alex Karaban and Cam Spencer both scored 12 in a balanced performance by the top-seeded Huskies (29-3), who have won five straight games and 19 of 20. The defending national champions will play fourth-seeded Seton Hall or No. 5 seed St. John’s in the first semifinal Friday evening at Madison Square Garden.

Seton Hall handed the Huskies one of their two conference losses this season back in December.

Samson Johnson also had 12 points off the bench, and Big East Freshman of the Year Stephon Castle added 10 points and eight rebounds to round out six scorers in double figures for Connecticut, seeking its first Big East Tournament title since 2011.


Quincy Olivari scored 17 points and Desmond Claude had 13 for ninth-seeded Xavier (16-17), which beat No. 8 seed Butler 76-72 in the first round Wednesday.

UConn fell behind 10-0 at the start, then reeled off the next 13 points. After leading 34-33 at halftime, the Huskies took control right away in the second half by opening the period with runs of 9-2 and 21-10 to build a 12-point cushion with 9:30 remaining.

They ran away from there.

Xavier Musketeers vs. UConn Huskies 2024 Big East Tournament Highlights

UConn lost 75-60 at Seton Hall in their conference opener on Dec. 20 before blowing out the Pirates 91-61 at home on March 3 to clinch its first outright Big East regular-season title in 25 years.

The Huskies swept two games from St. John's, including a 77-64 victory at Madison Square Garden in early February.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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