Sports

UConn beats Purdue, 75-60, to claim second consecutive championship title

The Connecticut Huskies are back on top for the second consecutive season after dominating the Purdue Boilermakers, 75-60, in the NCAA men’s basketball national championship game Monday night. 

Not only have the Huskies won 12 straight NCAA tournament games, but they kept their streak of defeating their opponents by double digits alive, showcasing how lethal their team is on the court. 

This is the sixth NCAA men’s basketball title for the school, with the last two under head coach Dan Hurley. 

Cam Spencer celebrates on court

Cam Spencer #12 of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates in the second half against the Purdue Boilermakers during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament National Championship game at State Farm Stadium on April 8 in Glendale, Arizona. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The story heading into this game was how the bigs – Purdue’s Zach Edey and UConn’s Donovan Clingan – would match up against each other. While Edey certainly played his role as Purdue’s star with 37 points on 15-of-25 shooting with 10 rebounds, UConn’s guards ultimately made the difference on the scoreboard. 

Tristen Newton dropped 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting with a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line to lead the Huskies, while Cam Spencer had 11 points and Stephon Castle hit six of his 13 shots for 15 points. 

SOUTH CAROLINA-IOWA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP DRAWS RECORD VIEWERSHIP

Clingan wasn’t used as much as Edey, which was expected, but he had 11 points, five rebounds and one block to become the fourth Husky to drop double-digit points on the night. 

The game started off as a bout between Edey and Clingan down low as both players battled for position in the paint and the points on the scoreboard went back and forth. 

Zach Edey looks down on court

Zach Edey #15 of the Purdue Boilermakers walks across the court in the second half against the Connecticut Huskies during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament National Championship game at State Farm Stadium on April 8 in Glendale, Arizona. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The Huskies only held a six-point lead when halftime came around, but Purdue had too much time in between points, which ultimately became a huge factor in the second half.

UConn’s lead quickly extended when Newton opened scoring in the second with his three-pointer to make it 39-30. Then, with 15:24 left in the half, UConn secured a double-digit lead after Samson Johnson, coming off the bench, drained an alley-oop dunk assisted by Newton to make it 45-34. 

After an Edey layup made it 47-38, the Boilermakers went on a cold streak that saw no points on the board for over three minutes until Braden Smith had two free throws. UConn had a 13-point lead at the time, and it was one they would never relinquish. 

Looking more at the stat sheet, Purdue shot just seven three-pointers on the night, making one of them. It explains why Edey’s shot total was so high. 

Donovan Clingan reacts on court

Donovan Clingan #32 of the Connecticut Huskies reacts in the second half against the Purdue Boilermakers during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament National Championship game at State Farm Stadium on April 8 in Glendale, Arizona. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

UConn wasn’t much better from beyond the arc, but they made six threes out of 22 attempts, while shooting 48.4% from the field as a team. They also out-rebounded Purdue, 35-28.

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