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Notes & Quotes: UConn trounces No. 10 Marquette
The No. 21 Huskies led from start to finish in a game where five of them had 12 or more points.
For the first time since the start of Big East play, the UConn Huskies showed why many believed they were a national contender early in the season.
The Huskies (19-6, 8-6 Big East) never trailed in their most complete performance since a 14-0 start to the season. Tristen Newton recorded his second triple-double of the season to lead No. 21 UConn over No. 10 Marquette 87-72 on Tuesday at the XL Center in Hartford.
“I’m just thrilled with the way the guys showed up,” UConn coach Dan Hurley said. His best players paced the squad and everyone was locked in defensively.
Newton finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and a season-high 12 assists to become the first Husky to record two triple-doubles in a season. Jordan Hawkins led UConn with 20 points while Adama Sanogo added 18. Alex Karaban and Nahiem Alleyne scored 13 each to make it five Huskies in double figures.
“UConn, in my opinion, they played just the way they were playing when they were 14-0 and number two in the country,” Marquette head coach Shaka Smart said. Tyler Kolek scored 17 points to lead the Golden Eagles (19-6, 11-3).
WHAT WENT WELL
Racing to Victory: Too often the Huskies found themselves climbing out of a first-half hole, or relinquishing a second-half lead, but not tonight. A 17-4 start — with nine points from Hawkins — got the ball rolling. UConn led by as much as 20 points before the break and was up 46-29 at the half. There was no collapse this time, either.
Dan Hurley: “Obviously thrilled, really, start to finish against a team of Marquette’s caliber. It’s great to play a complete game and get back to that first-half defense.”
Defensive Strength: UConn had not looked as sharp as of late but the staunch defense was there Wednesday night for (almost) a full 40 minutes. The Golden Eagles shot just 17 percent on 3-pointers (2 of 12) and 37 percent overall in the first half. Marquette finished shooting 44 percent overall and 24 percent on 3s.
Hurley: “We played at a really high level for about 35 minutes and that’s obviously enough (to win a game like this).”
It Takes a Village: The Huskies went nine deep in this one, another calling card of their early-season success. Alleyne scored the bulk of the Huskies’ 19 bench points, but Donovan Clingan also had eight rebounds and Joey Calcaterra’s minutes were solid too, including a nifty dish to Sanogo in the paint.
Alleyne: “I haven’t been playing as well as I wanted to, but I’ve just been keeping consistency, keeping to a routine, and being ready for the opportunity.”
The Boards: It was a landslide win for the Huskies on the glass. They embarrassed Marquette on the glass 48-24 and turned 21 offensive boards into 29 points.
HURLEY’S TAKE: “The rebounding domination on the glass, and to double them up, that’s back-to-identity things.”
WHAT NEEDS WORK
Do it Again: The hard part for the Huskies now is to play at this level consistently, starting with a big matchup against No. 23 Creighton on Saturday. They need to prove this was more than just one good game.
Jordan Hawkins: “That’s a really good team, a top-10 team, and we have another really tough one coming up, so we are just going to take the confidence from this game and bring it on Saturday.”
The Easy Stuff: Up 15-20 points much of the way it’s hard to find fault, but two weaknesses for the Huskies were turnovers (17) and sloppy free-throw shooting (13-for-22). In a closer game, both stats would matter much more.
Hurley: “Sometimes it gets hard to play against pressure when you’re up big.”
This was UConn’s largest margin of victory over a top-10 team since beating then-No. 8 Kentucky 84-67 on Nov. 24, 2010, in the Maui Invitational title game. … Newton’s triple-double was the 13th in school history. … UConn came in ranked sixth in the latest KenPom while Marquette was eighth. … Marquette won the first meeting of the season, 82-76, on Jan. 11 in Milwaukee. … Marquette came in on a five-game winning streak and having won 10 of its last 11. … The all-time series is now 8-7 in UConn’s favor, but Marquette is 3-2 at the XL Center.
This was a fun one…
By comparison, here is @Seton Hall:
Social Media Highlights
Saturday, at No. 23 Creighton, 2 p.m. (FOX)