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No. 4 UConn pushes past upset-minded Butler in second half

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Alex Karaban scored 20 points and Stephon Castle added 14 with nine boards to help No. 4 UConn survive on the road against host Butler 88-81 on Friday night in Indianapolis.

Tristan Newton added 17 points and five assists for the Huskies (13-2, 3-1 Big East). Cam Spencer also scored 14 as UConn rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit.

The Bulldogs (10-5, 1-3) were led by 22 points from DJ Davis. Pierre Brooks II dropped 19 points and Jahmyl Telfort added 16.

In an entertaining first half with runs on both sides, Butler emerged on top.

UConn went on a 7-3 run to take the lead 12 minutes into the game, but Butler quickly answered with a 9-0 run of their own, putting the Bulldogs up by eight.

Despite having a five-minute field goal drought afterwards, Butler managed to go into the halftime break with a 42-35 lead.

Davis scored 13 of his points in the half followed closely by Brooks’ 11. Newton led UConn with seven.

The Huskies began to break through early in the second. An early 7-0 run tied the game at 46 before Karaban’s 3-pointer made it 49-48, giving them their first lead since it was 23-22.

One factor in the Huskies’ surge was limiting Davis, who did not score until the 6:47 mark of the second half.

The Bulldogs continued to fight, however, and never let the deficit get insurmountable. Telfort scored 14 points in the second half alone. The Bulldogs as a team shot 5-of-8 from deep in the half.

The Huskies’ offense continued to put the pressure on as well, shooting 63 percent from the floor in the second half.

With UConn up four and less than a minute to play, Spencer grabbed a tough offensive rebound and later hit a dagger 3-pointer to make it 83-76, the Huskies’ largest lead of the game.

UConn retained its undefeated record against their Big East rival, improving to 8-0 since they first matched up in 2011.

–Field Level Media

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