STORRS, Conn. (AP) UConn wasn't about to lose its first game after being ranked No. 1 in the regular season for the first time in 15 years.

Tristen Newton scored 16 points and the Huskies (16-2, 6-1 Big East) used a stifling defense Wednesday night to beat No. 18 Creighton, 62-48. Cam Spencer and Alex Karaban each had 13 points, with all of Karaban’s scoring coming in the second half.

“When you get ranked No. 1 - coach talked about it the entire week - it's like a temporary belt,” Karaban said. “You've got to continue to protect the belt, protect the heavyweight championship.”

Star center Donovan Clingan returned after missing five games with a tendon injury in his right foot. The 7-foot-2 sophomore scored six points with five rebounds in 16 minutes.

Steven Ashworth led Creighton (13-5, 4-3) with 14 points. Baylor Scheierman, who came into the game averaging 18 points a game, added 12 and Ryan Kalkbrenner had 11 points, but took just five shots.

UConn, which has won six straight, dominated down low, outscoring Creighton 36-20 in the paint and outrebounding the Bluejays 48-32.

“We were just tough, man” UConn coach Dan Hurley said. “We were Big East tough.”

The Huskies led by 11 points at the half and used a 9-0 run to go up 41-23 early in second half. An alley-oop dunk from Stephon Castle to Clingan gave the Huskies their first 20-point lead at 48-28.

“We couldn't keep them off the glass and if you let this team get on the glass and when you turn it over, a live-ball turnover, they're going to score,” said Creighton coach Greg McDermott. “They're just elite at that.”

The Bluejays used an 18-8 run to cut the lead to 10 points on a 3-pointer by Scheierman with 2 1/2 minutes left, but could not get the game back to single digits.

Clingan checked into the game with 11:42 left in the first half and the game tied at 12.

The Huskies scored the next seven points, part of a 14-2 run that gave them a 23-14 lead.

Clingan got his first block with just under 5 minutes left in the half and his first basket on a put-back with just over 4 minutes left. The Huskies outscored the Bluejays 15-4 when he was in the game in the first half.

“It felt good just to go out there and battle with the guys in front of the home crowd," Clingan said. “Just to get that win, it was a big win for us and it felt great.”

Neither team shot well. UConn was 25-70 from the floor (35.7%), but held Creighton to 18 baskets on just 52 shots (34.6%).


Creighton: The Bluejays fall to 0-6 all-time against teams ranked No. 1.

UConn: The Huskies came into the game 1-7 against Creighton, with their only win coming last January at Gampel. All seven of those meetings were decided by fewer than 10 points... UConn improves to 42-9 when ranked No. 1.


Creighton: The Bluejays conclude their two-game road trip with a visit to Seton Hall on Saturday.

UConn: The Huskies travel to Philadelphia for a game Saturday night at Villanova.

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