Thursday , Jan , 26 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Gay nets 20 in UConn victory

Storrs, CT (Sports Network) – Rudy Gay dropped a game-high 20 points, pulled
down eight rebounds and swatted five shots as top-ranked Connecticut bested
St. John’s, 66-50, in Big East action at Gampel Pavilion.

Rashad Anderson added 12 points for the Huskies (17-1, 5-1 Big East), who won
for the sixth consecutive time. Josh Boone chipped in with nine points and
eight boards in the win.

“It’s an atypical game that we’ve been involved with,” UConn head coach Jim
Calhoun said. “Our students were jacked up, certainly St. John’s was jacked
up, I don’t know if our players were quite as jacked up early as I would have
liked them to be. Second half we came out with a lot of fire, but I don’t know
if we burnt anybody with the torch.”

Eugene Lawrence tallied 17 points and seven rebounds for the Red Storm (10-7,
3-3), who derailed Pittsburgh’s unbeaten season on Saturday. Daryll Hill
chipped in with 13 points in the loss.

“Our thought our guys battled hard, played hard throughout the whole game,”
St. John’s head coach Norm Roberts said. “They couldn’t make a basket there at
the end…pretty close to, but just couldn’t put any in. It definitely was not
a 16-point game.”

Connecticut held a precarious one-point advantage heading into the final frame
and the two rivals continued to play a nip and tuck game in the early minutes.

The Huskies finally fashioned a cushion with an 8-0 run fueled by Gay’s jumper
and dunk. The mini-spurt gave Connecticut a 45-36 edge with 14 1/2 minutes

St. John’s refused to waver and continued to play with a dogged determination.
Hill’s lay-in brought the Red Storm back to within three, 47-44, with under 10
minutes left.

A 13-4 burst by the Huskies over the next five minutes finally wore St. John’s
down. Anderson’s trey capped the run and gave Connecticut a double-digit
advantage, 60-48, with under five minutes left in the contest.

The Red Storm would never challenge again.

Connecticut took a slim 31-30 lead into the locker room after a hard fought,
defensive-minded first half.

Lawrence’s lay-in capped an 8-0 burst that gave the Red Storm a 21-18 edge
with a little over five minutes remaining in the half, but the Huskies
steadied themselves and managed to regain the advantage by intermission.

Anderson paced a balanced Connecticut attack with seven points while Lawrence
had 10 for the Red Storm.

Game Notes

Gay was 9-of-15 from the floor….UConn is a perfect 11-0 at home this season
while St. John’s is just 1-4 on the road…St. John’s still leads the all-time
series 33-23…The Huskies owned the glass with a 42-37 edge…St. John’s
Aaron Spears was ejected for fighting along with the Huskies’ Jeff Adrien.