PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) UConn coach Dan Hurley didn't like the way Saturday night's game against Providence started.

He made sure to enjoy the finish.

Hurley spent much of the last minute of the Huskies' 74-60 victory over PC jawing with a Friars fan in the second row. The coach of the defending NCAA champions also waved his arms to encourage the considerable contingent of fans rooting for the road team, then left the court with both index fingers raised in the air.

“I just told him, ‘I’ve got a national championship ring, and we won the regular season in the Big East, and we’re champions,’” Hurley said. “'And you should shut up, and you shouldn’t be running your mouth at that point in the game. You know, just get out of here. You know? Just go.'”

Alex Karaban scored 16 points and Tristen Newton had 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists as second-ranked UConn bounced back after falling behind 15-2 early in the regular-season finale. Stephon Castle added 14 points for the Huskies (28-3, 18-2 Big East), who finished with four straight wins and 18 victories in their last 19 games.

“I'm not going to lie, it felt pretty good,” said Hurley, who previously coached at PC rival Rhode Island and was 0-5 in the building originally known as the Providence Civic Center. “I've had to eat (expletive) in this building a bunch.”

Big East player of the year candidate Devin Carter scored 24 points with 15 rebounds for Providence (19-12, 10-10) and finished the season as the conference's leading scorer. The Friars fell to 2-4 versus ranked teams this season.

“Disappointing effort. Disappointing outcome. Disappointment all around,” coach Kim English said. “Got off to a really good start, obviously, and then immaturity set in. You’re not going to knock a team out five minutes into the game.”

The Friars scored 15 of the first 17 points, including a free throw when Hurley was called for a technical foul for arguing with the referees. PC led 19-9 before UConn scored 30 of the next 35 points, tying it 21-all when English was called for a technical.

The Huskies took the lead on back-to-back 3-pointers from Castle and Newton, then added a couple more 3s from Karaban and Cam Spencer during a 15-0 run that made it 42-24 at halftime.

Providence did not make a basket in the last 8:46 of the first half.

“Didn't expect quite that start,” Hurley said. “I just think they jumped us.”


UConn has likely wrapped up a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, regardless of what happens in the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden next week. It will be the Huskies’ sixth time as a No. 1 seed.

“We’re thinking history here. We're thinking legacy. We’re thinking exclamation point on the regular season,” Hurley said.

Providence is on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament and might need to go far in the Big East Tournament to make it.


UConn: Has a bye in the Big East Tournament to the quarterfinals on Thursday, when it will play the winner of the first-round game between Xavier and Butler.

Providence: Will be the No. 7 seed in the Big East Tournament and face No. 10 seed Georgetown on Wednesday night.


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