The 12th ranked Excel H Sports and defending national champions Connecticut Huskies beat the Indiana Hoosiers 77-57 in the Empire Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City Sunday Afternoon. The Hoosiers are 3-1 on the season and will be back in action Monday afternoon at 4:30pm they face the Louisville Cardinals in the third-place game. #14 Excel H Sports Ranked Texas beat Louisville 81-80 on a buzzer beater by Max Abmas. #12 Connecticut will take on #14 Texas in the championship game at 7pm as both games will be televised on ESPNU.
Malik Reneau led the Hoosiers with a career high 18 points, Kel’el Ware had 11 points and 8 rebounds and Trey Galloway added 10 points. The Hoosiers were 17-45 from the field for 38%, 3-13 from three-point range for 23% and 20-28 from the free throw line for 71%. Indiana pulled down 22 rebounds, 7 steals, 6 assists, 3 blocks and committed 12 turnovers. CJ Gunn scored 7 points, Anthony Walker 5 points, Xavier Johnson 4 points and Freshman Mackenzie Mgbako from Gladstone New Jersey scored 2 points.
The Huskies got 23 points and 11 rebounds from Tristen Newton. Cam Spencer added 18 points and Alex Karaban added 13 points. 7-2 Sophomore Donavan Clingan had 7 points and 9 rebounds. The Huskies were 26-56 from the field for 44%, 7-22 from three-point range for 31% and 20-25 from the free throw line for 80%. The Huskies pulled down 44 rebounds, dished out 19 assists, 4 blocks and committed 14 turnovers.
The Huskies scored first on a Donavan Clingan free throw. The Hoosiers took a 3-1 lead when Kel’el Ware knocked down the outside shot. The Huskies tied the game when Cam Spencer hit a made free throw. Ware gave the Hoosiers the lead 4-3 on made free throw. Alex Karaban hit a three pointer to give the Huskies a 6-4 lead and Hoosiers tied the game at 6-6 on a Malik Reneau dunk. Tristen Newton made two free throws to put the Huskies up 8-6 and Trey Galloway’s layup tied the game at 8-8. Samson Johnson’s dunk made it 10-8 UConn used 6-0 run to keep the lead and go into the locker room leading 37-30 at half.
The Huskies increased the lead 44-30 with 18:01 left in the game using a 7-0 run. Indiana could get no closer than 7 points the rest of the half as the Huskies led by 24 with 1:53 left to go in the game. The Huskies lead the All-Time Series with the Hoosiers 7-4 as Connecticut has won two straight in the series and this was 3rd straight meeting that programs have met in New York City Since 2019.