Tristen Newton scored 25 points, Cam Spencer added 14 and No. 1 UConn defeated host Villanova 66-65 Saturday in Philadelphia.
Alex Karaban had 10 for the Huskies (17-2, 7-1 Big East), who won their seventh game in a row.
Spencer made two free throws with 10.4 seconds remaining for a 64-60 lead.
After Mark Armstrong hit a layup, Newton knocked down a pair of free throws with four seconds left for a 66-62 lead. Armstrong made a halfcourt shot at the buzzer.
TJ Bamba and Justin Moore led Villanova (11-7, 4-3) with 15 points apiece. Eric Dixon chipped in with nine points and seven rebounds. The Wildcats lost for the third time in four games.
Moore was whistled for two offensive fouls in the final 1:25, with the final one coming with 19 seconds to go and the Wildcats down 62-60.
Hakim Hart tipped in Tyler Burton’s missed layup and Villanova pulled within 51-46 with 8:34 remaining.
Bamba’s left-handed layup with 5:36 left brought the Wildcats within 54-52. When Burton hit two free throws with 4:46 remaining, the game was tied at 54.
Newton then dribbled behind his back and made a twisting shot in the lane for a 56-54 advantage.
Connecticut jumped out to a quick 11-0 lead but then had trouble scoring as Villanova closed within 13-12 when Moore hit a jumper with 7:57 left in the half.
Newton responded with a three-point play for the Huskies, who had gone the previous 13 possessions without a field goal.
Hart then drove to the basket and threw down a thunderous one-handed dunk. Moore added a 3-pointer and the Wildcats suddenly led 17-16.
When Hassan Diarra knocked down a trey with 2:48 to go, UConn pulled ahead 27-18.
The Huskies led 29-24 at halftime thanks in large part to Spencer’s nine points. Moore paced Villanova with nine.
After the Wildcats tied the game at 31 early in the second half, UConn scored five straight points, capped by Newton’s difficult layup.
Villanova went back in front 39-38 with 15:11 remaining after Bamba hit a deep 3-pointer.
The Huskies then bounced back to take a 51-42 advantage with 10:11 left after Newton dropped in a 3-pointer.
–Field Level Media
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