BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — After splitting a pair of home games to begin the season, UB lost 84-64 in its basketball road opener Tuesday night at nationally-ranked UConn.
UConn (3-0) entered the AP poll this week at No. 25 and are the third team receiving votes outside the coaches top 25. The game at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. was the first high-major challenge in a blue blood-tinted non-conference schedule that also takes the Bulls to West Virginia and Michigan State in December.
Armoni Foster led the Bulls (1-2) with 11 points. Isaiah Adams gave UB its final lead at 14-13 with 8:55 left in the first half.
UB plays Drake on Friday in the first of three games at the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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.
“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.”
Tristen Newton had 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his first career triple-double. Joey Calcaterra came off the bench to score 15 points and Nahiem Alleyne added 12 for the Huskies (3-0).
“In the first half (Newton) really bothered us and got to the line,” UB coach Jim Whitesell said.
UB is 1-9 all-time against UConn, with the lone victory coming in 1951, and UB is 6-15 all-time against Big East opponents.
The Bulls last win against a ranked opponent was at No. 13 West Virginia on Nov. 9, 2018, which put UB in the top 25 for the remainder of that season. UB lost at No. 6 Michigan in last season’s opener and is 2-16 against ranked opponents since 2010.
The Huskies are coached by Dan Hurley, who recommended his brother Bobby Hurley bring on Nate Oats as an assistant when was the coach at UB. When Hurley left for Arizona State, Oats took over as coach and hired Whitesell, who was promoted from his assistant position when Oats left for Alabama.
The UB women’s basketball team claimed its first victory under new coach Becky Burke on Monday in Easton, Massachusetts, 62-56 against Stonehill, a team in its first season transition from Division II.
Jazmine Young scored a career-high 16 points for the bulls, Re’Shawna Stone added 14 points, and Zakiyah Winfield had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Coming off the program’s first loss to Canisius in 10 years, UB (1-1) plays its home opener Saturday against Princeton, which is receiving votes in the AP poll.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.