Saturday , Mar , 25 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

UConn survives another scare, tops Washington in OT

Washington, DC (Sports Network) – Rashad Anderson’s three-pointer with 1.8
seconds left forced overtime, and Connecticut overcame a season-high 26
turnovers to advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament with a 98-92
victory over Washington in a battle of Huskies.

Marcus Williams had 26 points for top-seeded UConn (30-3), which advanced to
take on 11th seed George Mason in the Washington D.C. Regional final on
Sunday. The Patriots continued their amazing run in the tournament with a
63-55 win over Wichita State earlier Friday at the Verizon Center.

Anderson scored 19 points, while Josh Boone and Hilton Armstrong each scored
13. Denham Brown and Rudy Gay each tallied 12 points for Connecticut, which is
trying to win the national title for a second time in three years. Boone also
had 11 rebounds for UConn, which overcame a double-digit deficit in the second
half. Jim Calhoun’s team went to the free throw line 47 times, hitting 34

“In regulation, we probably made some of the most boneheaded plays we’ve made
all season, including myself,” Williams said. “I think in overtime we made
some big baskets, got some big stops and we made free throws. The
determination we had in overtime, you could see it in everyone’s face that we
had new life.”

Jamaal Williams poured in 27 points and Brandon Roy added 20 before fouling
out for fifth-seeded Washington (26-7), which wasted a six-point lead with
less than two minutes remaining in regulation. Five players fouled out for

“We came close and it will be something they will always think about the rest
of their lives, how close the game was,” Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar
said. “But I just wish they could have experienced it (Final Four) because
they deserved it.”

Washington extended to a 78-72 lead with 1:55 left in regulation after a
three-pointer from Jamaal Williams.

Two free throws from Justin Dentmon with 21.2 seconds left pushed Washington’s
lead to 80-76, but Marcus Williams converted a three-point play on a layup and
free throw after being fouled by Mike Jensen with 11 seconds remaining.

Roy made two at the foul line with 7.9 seconds left before Anderson drilled
his three from the right wing. Ryan Appleby missed on an attempt to give
Washington the victory at the regulation buzzer.

Brown hit two free throws with 2:41 left in OT to give UConn the lead at 88-86
and Armstrong then had a controversial blocked shot on Roy’s floater in the
lane. Romar screamed for a goaltending call, but none came.

UConn expanded to a 94-89 lead with 24.4 seconds left after two free throws
from Armstrong, but Calhoun’s team nearly gave the game away.

Appleby hit a three-pointer with 16.3 seconds left and then stole the inbounds
pass near the lane. However, instead of driving to the basket, Appleby passed
the ball back out to Joel Smith, then Marcus Williams intercepted a cross-
court pass and was fouled by Roy with 11.3 seconds left.

“I knew they were trying to find Roy,” Marcus Williams said. “I’ve seen him
make big shots earlier in the year. I kind of glanced to see where he was and
just made a break over there.”

Marcus Williams made both foul shots for a 96-92 lead, and Brandon Burmeister
missed a long three-pointer, ending Washington’s chance to advance.

Washington led 45-40 at halftime and expanded to a 51-40 lead less than two
minutes into the final period.

Roy was forced to the bench with 13:48 remaining after picking up his third
and fourth personal fouls in an odd twist. Roy and Gay got into a shouting
match and a double-technical was called. Roy was charged with the initial
foul, but due to the double-technical he racked up two fouls on the play,
giving him four.

“We were able to take the elite scorer out of the game and that was a big
boost for us,” Anderson said. “Knowing how we usually defend, we had to defend
another player like him and they took a loss.”

Washington led 53-45 at that moment, but UConn rallied and took a 61-60 lead
following a dunk by Armstrong with just under 10 minutes left in the second

Game Notes

It was the second time these teams met in the Sweet 16. In 1998, UConn escaped
with a 75-74 victory on a last-second putback by Richard
Hamilton…Washington’s only Final Four appearance came in 1953. In the 53
years since then, UW’s furthest advancements were Sweet 16 berths also in
1984, 1998 and 2005…UConn was 10-of-19 from three-point range and shot 52.9
percent overall, compared to 42.5 percent for Washington…It was the third
close call for UConn in the tournament. They rallied from a 12-point deficit
in the second half to beat 16th seed Albany in the first round and then held
off Kentucky, 87-83 in the second round.