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    Saturday, April 20, 2024

    No. 24 UConn uses late rally to beat last-place Georgetown

    UConn’s Adama Sanogo (21) dunks over Georgetown’s Bradley Ezewiro (22) during the Huskies’ 68-62 Big East win over the Hoyas on Saturday in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
    UConn’s Jordan Hawkins, second from the left, Tristen Newton (2) and Andre Jackson Jr. (44) celebrate next to Georgetown’s Jay Heath (5) after the No. 24 Huskies beat the Hoyas 68-62 in a Big East game on Saturday in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
    UConn’s Alex Karaban (11) and Andre Jackson Jr. celebrate afer Karaban hit a big 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the No. 24 Huskies’ 68-62 Big East win over Georgetown on Saturday in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

    Washington — On a team ranked as high as No. 2 this season, it was a freshman who saved the day for UConn.

    Adama Sanogo and Tristen Newton each scored 15 and Alex Karaban knocked down two late 3-pointers as No. 24 UConn held for a 68-62 win at last-place Georgetown on Saturday.

    "We're lucky to have him in a UConn uniform," coach Dan Hurley said about Karaban, who came into the game as the Huskies fourth-leading scorer, averaging 9.7. "There's not many freshmen in the country that have been as consistent, solid."

    Despite leading for most of the game, the heavily favored Huskies (18-6, 7-6 Big East) needed a late 8-1 run to earn the season sweep over the Hoyas. UConn has won two straight and three of four.

    Brandon Murray's three-point play with 4:42 left put the Hoyas on top at 61-60. It was Georgetown's first lead since the 16:16 mark in the first half. Murray scored 14 of his game-high 21 points after halftime for the Hoyas (6-18, 1-12), who have lost six straight games to UConn.

    It was a game far closer than expected as UConn began the day at No. 8 in the Net Rankings while Georgetown sat near the bottom.

    "This would have been a tough one in terms of the metrics and everything that's at stake for us," Hurley said. "There was a lot of pressure on us, in that under four timeout, because the group knew we could ill afford to come and lose here."

    That's when Karaban, who was scoreless at halftime, provided the spark.

    Karaban knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 3:03 left to restore the UConn lead at 63-61. With the game winding down and the Hoyas still within a possession, Karaban ended Georgetown's upset bid with his third 3-pointer of the day with 27 seconds left.

    Karaban finished with 11 points, going 3 for 7 from deep after making 1 of 5 to start.

    Georgetown missed its final seven shots of the game. The Hoyas have lost three straight since a Jan. 24 win against DePaul ended their record-setting, 29-game Big East losing streak. Georgetown has now lost 32 of the last 33 conference games going back to March 2021.

    "I didn't think we executed very well down the stretch," Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing said about his team's late struggles in both games with UConn this season.

    Primo Spears, the Hoyas leading scorer averaging 16.8 points, was scoreless and attempted just one shot in 37 minutes. He led the Hoyas with five assists.

    Big picture

    UConn: Once the favorites in the league, the Huskies enter a difficult four-game stretch against teams all vying for NCAA bids. The Huskies went 1-3 this season against upcoming foes Marquette, Creighton, Seton Hall and Providence, although this time three of the four games will be at home (they play Creighton on the road).

    Georgetown: Ewing is 74-102 in his sixth season coaching at the school that he led to the 1984 NCAA championship as a player. The Hoyas have clinched a losing Big East record for the fourth straight season. Ewing's lone winning season came in his second season in 2018-19 when the Hoyas finished 19-14 and lost in the first round of the NIT.

    Up next

    UConn: Hosts No. 14 Marquette on Tuesday in Hartford.

    Georgetown: At No. 17 Providence on Wednesday.

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