Wednesday , Feb , 16 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Huskies need 2 OTs to outlast Friars

Providence, RI (Sports Network) – Charlie Villanueva was one of four players
with a double-double as he scored a team-high 22 points and grabbed 10
rebounds to lead No. 18 Connecticut past Providence, 94-89 in double overtime
at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

Denham Brown finished with 14 points and 10 boards, while Josh Boone netted 11
and 10 rebounds for the Huskies (16-6, 8-3 Big East) who rebounded from their
loss to North Carolina on Sunday. Marcus Williams had a spectacular night as
he ended with 15 points and a career-high 13 assists. Rudy Gay added 15 points
in the win.

Ryan Gomes poured in a career-high 37 points to lead Providence (11-14, 1-10),
which lost for the third time in four tries. Tuukka Kotti scored 16 points and
Donnie McGrath added 15 in the losing effort.

In the first overtime, both teams traded a pair of buckets until the Friars
were able to stake a four-point lead after McGrath’s free throws put them up
77-73 with 1:17 left. Williams countered on the other end with a three-point
play to cut the deficit to one.

Desean White was fouled on the Friars next possession, but only hit one of two
at the line giving way for Brown who answered with his lay-in tying it 78-78
with 21 seconds remaining. McGrath’s three-point heave as time expired was off
the mark and the game entered double overtime.

Connecticut pulled away in the second extra session, scoring the first seven
points capped by Villanueva’s jump-hook to make it 85-78. The Friars cut their
deficit to three, but the Huskies were too much down the stretch as they hung
on for the win.

The two clubs traded buckets for much of the second half with Connecticut
maintaining its lead throughout.

Providence continued to hang around though and trailed 66-64, following a pair
of free throws by Gomes with 2:20 remaining. After Connecticut came up empty
on its next opportunity, Farmer drilled a three on the other end to put the
Friars up 67-66.

Brown was fouled on the next Huskies possession but hit only the front end of
two and tied the game at 67-67. The rebound though fell back to Connecticut
and they were able to capitalize as Boone found a wide open Villanueva under
the hoop for an easy deuce.

Villanueva had a chance to put the Huskies up three but his free throw attempt
missed and Providence was given the opportunity to send the game to overtime
on its next possession.

Gomes’ layup attempt missed but Herbert Hill was able to tie up Villanueva and
give Providence another opportunity. Hill came through on the next play when
his layup was good with 4.9 seconds remaining.

On Connecticut’s final chance, Antonio Kellogg took the inbounds pass near
half-court and drove to the lane where he got a clean look, but his shot hit
off the back iron as time expired.

The Huskies led 35-31 at halftime.

Connecticut improved to 39-23 versus Providence in the all-time series and has
won 10 of the last 13 meetings.