No. 22 Xavier handed No. 2 UConn its first loss of the season on Saturday with a 83-73 win at home.
Musketeers forward Zach Freemantle led the charge, finishing with an impressive 16 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists. Xavier had three more starters finish with 10-plus points — Jack Nunge, Colby Jones, and Souley Boum — while forward Jerome Hunter dropped 15 points off the bench.
Perhaps the biggest difference maker in the outing was Xavier’s ability to get to the free throw line, shooting 23-28 from the stripe. Conversely, UConn only attempted nine free throws in the game, and shot just 44% from the line going 4-9.
The matchup featured passionate play from both teams with Xavier’s Nunge, who was fired up in the outing despite playing with the flu, being assessed a technical foul in the first half and Dan Hurley getting teed up at a pivotal moment in the second half, down three, with just 2:25 seconds to go. The Musketeers’ would go on to end the game on a 9-2 run.
Huskies forward Adama Sanogo finished the game with a team-high 18 points and added 6 rebounds to the stat sheet, while guard Andre Jackson Jr. flirted with a triple-double with 14 points, 10 boards and 8 assists. The Big East powerhouse managed to crash the glass and out-rebound Xavier 38-31 (13-4 off. rebounds), but the team struggled to take care of the ball in this one, turning the ball over 16 times.
UConn was one of only three teams in college basketball to remain undefeated coming into Saturday. The Huskies move to 14-1 on the year and will look to bounce back against Providence in their first game of the new year. Xavier will play Villanova next week.
Codi Childs is a graduate of Georgia State University and has been with Turner Sports since the summer of 2022. She covers a number of sports including men’s basketball and FCS and FBS football.Previous.