Connecticut 84

(15-11, 5-8 Big East)

(3) Villanova 75

(22-3, 11-2 Big East)

7:00 PM ET, February 15, 2010

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1 2 T
CONN 36 4884
#3VILL 35 4075

Top Performers

Connecticut: K. Walker 29 Pts, 9 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

Villanova: S. Reynolds 18 Pts, 2 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

UConn runs over No. 3 Villanova 48 hours after 'embarrassing' loss to Cincinnati

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- A "must win" for Connecticut turned into just another upset of a Big East top-10 team.

Katz: NCAA Bid Up To UConn

Can UConn win out at Rutgers, West Virginia, Louisville, at Notre Dame and then at South Florida in its final five? Sure, but the Huskies could also lose every one of those games, too, writes Andy Katz. Blog

Kemba Walker scored a career-high 29 points and the Huskies continued the four-day run of losses by Big East top-10 teams, beating No. 3 Villanova 84-75 on Monday night.

Connecticut (15-11, 5-8) was coming off a 60-48 loss to Cincinnati, one of its worst offensive performances in years. The Huskies hit the 48-point mark less than 4 minutes into the second half.

The loss to Cincinnati came in Calhoun's first game back after a 3½-week medical leave. He called it "embarrassing." This wiped away some of that feeling.

"We looked like a UConn team tonight," he said. "It was a terrific win for us at a terrific time against a terrific team."

The Huskies became the fourth team to knock off one of the Big East's top teams in a four-day period.

On Friday night, then-No. 5 West Virginia lost to Pittsburgh in triple overtime. On Sunday, Louisville beat then-No. 2 Syracuse and Rutgers beat then-No. 7 Georgetown.

The Huskies continued the upset trend by shooting 67 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line in the second half while holding Scottie Reynolds of the Wildcats (22-3, 11-2) to four of his 18 points.

"I'm so proud of them," Calhoun said. "To use the word embarrassing is a tough thing to say, but I meant it."

The Huskies have five games left in the regular season and the Big East tournament to try and turn around a disappointing season. Connecticut, which had lost five of six, remained 12th in the 16-team league and ended a six-game road losing streak in the Big East.

Fast Facts

• UConn notched its first true road win of the season and snapped a six-game road conference losing streak.

• Kemba Walker had a career-high 29 points for the Huskies and career-highs in 3-point FGM (3) and FTM (14).

• UConn outscored Villanova 35-16 at the free-throw line.

• The Wildcats saw a 12-game home winning streak and an 11-game home winning streak vs. unranked opponents end.

-- ESPN Stats & Information

"I told them let's start from the jump. That's what we did," said Walker, who was 6 of 10 from the field. "We put together a 40-minute game. Probably the first one of the season, to tell you the truth. It was great."

Reynolds, the conference's fourth-leading scorer at 19 points per game, had been a second-half star for the Wildcats in their recent games. With Jerome Dyson moving with him all over the court in the second half, the senior guard managed just the four points on 2-of-6 shooting including missing all three 3-point attempts.

"Jerome Dyson did a sensational job on Reynolds and had some help," Calhoun said. "I told him 'If you stop him, we'll win the game."

Reynolds said the Huskies always seemed "a step ahead" on defense in the matchup of teams from last season's Final Four that were on very different paths this season.

"They moved the ball and made all the right reads and they were hitting the outside shots," Reynolds said of the Huskies' second-half effort.

Connecting at the Line

UConn got to the free-throw line 44 times, more than twice its average attempts per game in Big East play. The Huskies' ability to get to the line has been a major factor in the outcome of their games of late.

FT Differential, Last 8 Games
In 3 Wins In 5 Losses
FT Att +74 -7
FT Made +60 -7

The Huskies hit their first seven shots of the second half and turned a 36-35 halftime lead into a 55-48 advantage. They were up 67-58 with 5:30 left and then matched almost every Villanova score the rest of the way, going 13 of 16 from the line.

Reggie Redding hit a 3 with 2 minutes left to bring the Wildcats within 76-69 and the crowd of better than 18,000 at the Wachovia Center was suddenly alive.

Connecticut milked most of the 35-second clock and Walker was fouled with 3 seconds left. He made two free throws with 1:26 left. Dominic Cheek hit a 3 for the Wildcats with 1:15 to play to make it 78-72 and this time Connecticut again worked the shot clock down to 2 seconds and Walker was able to get off a 3 that missed. Gavin Edwards corralled the rebound for Connecticut and that turned into one of two free throws for Dyson with 35 seconds left for a seven-point lead.

"We put ourselves in a position like this all the time and we don't finish out the game," said Dyson, who had 15 points and six assists. "We really stayed connected with each other out there on the floor. We didn't force anything. It didn't seem like in past games we turned the ball over as much."

Dyson was 9 of 14 from the free throw line and Walker was 14 of 16 as the Huskies finished 35 of 44.

"I was just trying to be aggressive. They backed off me. I guess they wanted me to take a jump shot," said Walker, whose previous career best was 23 points twice. "Tonight, I kind of got in a zone. I was shooting shots and making shots.

"That's us, we play hard. That's one thing we do."

Corey Fisher had 14 points for the Wildcats, who could have moved one game ahead of Syracuse in the conference race.

"Kemba Walker was outstanding. We just didn't have an answer for him," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "They did a great job on defense. I think Dyson wore himself out playing Scottie."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 84 75
FG Made-Attempted 22-46 (.478) 26-65 (.400)
3P Made-Attempted 5-13 (.385) 7-24 (.292)
FT Made-Attempted 35-44 (.795) 16-20 (.800)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 30 (0/0)
Largest Lead 11 4

2009-10 Season

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