There was no movement in the top five, with No. 1 Kansas beating Kentucky and No. 2 Purdue fending off Xavier in their only games of the week. No. 3 Arizona improved to 5-0 with three buy games over the last week and No. 4 Marquette beat Illinois, 71-64, in its only game of the week.
The Big East has three teams ranked in the Top 10 with Creighton staying at No. 8 with wins over Iowa and Texas Southern.
UConn’s win over Indiana, it’s first “real opponent,” to begin the Empire Classic on Sunday marked its 21st consecutive nonconference win by double-digits.
The Huskies, losing Stephon Castle for at least a few weeks after he had a “minor procedure” on his right knee, have counted on fifth-year guards Tristen Newton and Cam Spencer to carry the load in the backcourt. Answering the bell, Newton was named to the Big East’s weekly honor roll after totalling 33 points, 19 rebounds, 13 assists and three steals in two games this week and Spencer had 43 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals of his own.
“We’ve got a great backcourt,” head coach Dan Hurley said.
The duo combined for 41 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists as Donovan Clingan and talented Indiana 7-footer Kel’el Ware “nullified each other” in the frontcourt and the Huskies dominated the glass, 44-22, on Sunday.
Solo Ball, stepping into Castle’s spot in the starting five for the second straight game, wasn’t able to convert on some open shots in the first half but shook the nerves of playing his first game in Madison Square Garden and scored nine in the second.
The Huskies are set to play No. 15 Texas for the Empire Classic championship on Monday evening after the Longhorns snuck out with an 81-80 win over Louisville after a last-second jumper from guard Max Abmas.
UConn returns to Connecticut for a pair of buy games against Manhattan and New Hampshire before a much-anticipated matchup against the top-ranked Jayhawks on Dec. 1, and a return to MSG for the Jimmy V Classic against No. 14 North Carolina on Dec. 5. Then, with Arkansas Pine Bluff in between (Dec. 9), will fly out to Seattle for the nonconference finale against No. 11 Gonzaga on Dec. 15.