STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Freshman guard Stephon Castle scored a season-high 20 points and top-ranked UConn held off Providence 74-65 Wednesday night in a foul-filled Big East battle.
Tristen Newton added 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Cam Spencer scored 15 as the Huskies (19-2, 9-1) won their ninth straight in a game that included 48 fouls.
Devin Carter and Josh Oduro each had 20 points for Providence (14-7, 5-5). But like Castle, Oduro fouled out.
UConn led by just a point at halftime. But an offensive foul on Carter and a technical on the Providence bench helped spark a 13-2 run that gave the Huskies a 44-36 lead. That was one of four technicals called in the game.
Six players had four fouls with five minutes left and UConn up 58-54.
Jayden Pierre became the first to foul out with 3:43 remaining on a drive by Spencer. His free throws stretched the lead back to eight.
Castle fouled out with just under two minutes left, and Providence cut the deficit to five.
But after Donovan Clingan blocked a shot, Oduro fouled out on the other end and — fittingly — UConn closed it out from the free-throw line.
Providence entered on a three-game winning streak that followed four consecutive losses after star forward Bryce Hopkins went down with a season-ending knee injury on Jan. 3.
Clingan, who missed almost a month with a foot injury, picked up two fouls in the first four minutes and played just four minutes in the first half
With the 7-foot-2 sophomore out, Providence went on a 10-0 run to take a 12-6 lead.
UConn forward Alex Karaban also missed six minutes of the first half after injuring his right ankle. He came down awkwardly after making a driving layup and had to be helped to the locker room. But he was able to return to the floor and hit a 3-pointer that gave UConn a 25-24 lead.
The Huskies led 29-28 at halftime.
Providence: The Friars fell to 2-16 against top-ranked teams. They have never beaten a No. 1 squad on the road.
UConn: The Huskies have not lost in 2024, going 8-0 during January.
Providence: The Friars travel to Philadelphia for a game against Villanova on Sunday.
UConn: The Huskies head back to Madison Square Garden to face St. John’s on Saturday.