Brown, third-ranked Huskies get revenge against No. 2 Wildcats
=== Brown, third-ranked Huskies get revenge against No. 2 Wildcats ===
Storrs, CT (Sports Network) – Denham Brown had a career-high 23 points as
third-ranked Connecticut got its revenge against No. 2 Villanova in a 89-75
victory at the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion.
Rashad Anderson netted 17 points and pulled down six boards and Rudy Gay added
13 points and seven rebounds for the Huskies (25-2, 12-2 Big East), who have
won all three games since their 69-64 loss against Villanova on February 13.
The Huskies were No. 1 in the country at the time of the loss.
Marcus Williams had 10 points and 12 assists for UConn, which pulled into a
tie for first-place in the conference with Villanova.
“Unless you have a tough team, not just a talented team, you cannot win the
Big East,” said Huskies coach Jim Calhoun
Allan Ray had 19 points and Randy Foye added 18 points and five rebounds for
the Wildcats (22-3, 12-2), who had an 11-game winning streak snapped. Their
last defeat came on the road at the hands of Texas on January 14.
It was a foul-filled game with a total of 45 fouls being called including two
technicals on UConn.
“They came in with the mentality that they (Villanova) are the toughest team
in the Big East and we came in with the same one,” said UConn forward Josh
Boone. “It was just a matter of us matching that same intensity and giving it
right back to them.”
UConn had a 36-33 lead going into the second half and built that up to a 42-35
lead early in the final 20 minutes. However, Ray hit two free throws and Mike
Nardi buried a three-pointer to get ‘Nova back to within three points at 43-40
a little over two minutes in.
The Huskies got back their seven-point advantage and made it a 49-42 game on
the strength of a Anderson three-pointer just over five minutes in.
But, Ray put the team on his shoulders and scored 10 points on a 12-2
Wildcats’ run and they assumed a 54-53 lead after Ray drained a jumper
with 10:44 to play.
It was a short-lived advantage, though, as the Huskies ran off nine unanswered
points and assumed a 62-54 lead when Jeff Adrien drained a running jumper with
8:29 remaining in the game.
That proved to be the turning point in the game as the ‘Cats were unable to
claw their way back into the lead.
UConn led by as many as 15 points throughout the remainder of the game.
“Connecticut was just really sharp today,” said VIllanova coach Jay Wright
“They clicked on everything. All of the things they do well, pushing the ball
up the floor, offensive rebounding, executing their half-court. They were on
top of all of it.”
The Huskies led for much of the first half, but were unable to build a
UConn had a 12-6 lead after four straight points by Adrien with the last two
coming off of a jumper a little over four minutes in. But, Foye answered with
a three-pointer and Dante Cunningham drained a jumper to get back to within
The Wildcats went on a 9-2 run and had a 20-16 lead after Foye put in a layup
with 10:25 left in the half.
The Huskies answered with a 10-2 run to grab the lead back and were ahead
26-22 after Anderson drained a three-pointer with 7:01 until halftime.
‘Nova got back to within one a couple of times in the half, but were unable to
tie it up or grab back the lead.
UConn had back-to-back baskets in the final two minutes and had a chance to
take a seven-point lead into the locker room, but Brown missed a jumper and
Shane Clark banked a shot off the board at the buzzer to make it a 36-33 game
going into the locker room.
UConn hit 45.5 percent of its shots in the first half and went 4-of-8 from
long range. The Wildcats only connected on 35.3 percent of their shots and
were 4-of-13 from three-point land.
Nardi finished with 14 points…Adrien ended the game with eight points and
nine boards…Villanova holds a 30-26 edge in the series with the
Huskies…UConn ended the contest shooting 54-5 percent, including 8-of-13
outside the arch…The ‘Cats shoot a poor 33.8 percent in the game and went 9-
of-30 from three-point range.