Feb. 2, 2005
By DONNA TOMMELLEO
AP Sports Writer
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Rashad Anderson scored 21 points and a made key block in the closing seconds, leading Connecticut to an 81-76 win over Villanova on Wednesday night.
The No. 23 Huskies (13-5, 5-3 Big East) got their first win over a ranked opponent in four tries. They snapped the 24th-ranked Wildcats' three-game win streak in coach Jim Calhoun's 1,000th career game. That run for the Wildcats included an 83-62 upset over then-No. 2 Kansas.
Charlie Villanueva's free throw with 1:22 left put the Huskies up 73-72. Anderson blocked a shot in the lane by Randy Foye on the Wildcats' next possession. That led to Villanueva's hook shot on the other end and a 75-72 UConn lead.
Villanova coach Jay Wright was called for a technical after the basket, and Anderson went back to the line and made both free throws to ice the game.
Mike Nardi scored a season-high 20 points for Villanova (12-5, 4-4) as the Wildcats' three-guard lineup gave UConn all it could handle. Nardi had a career-high six 3-pointers. Allan Ray added 16 and Foye finished with 15. They combined for 11 assists and five steals.
The Huskies rallied from a seven-point deficit with 74 percent shooting in the second half. Rudy Gay had 17 points for UConn, and Marcus Williams finished with 12 points and nine assists. Josh Boone scored six of his eight points from the line as the Huskies made a season-high 30 free throws.
The Huskies also outrebounded the Wildcats 41-35, led by Hilton Armstrong's 11.
Villanova trailed most of the first half but didn't need much time to catch up. Down by seven with just under six minutes to play, the Wildcats went on a tear, hitting four straight 3-pointers in a 14-0 run. Nardi had two 3s in the three-minute spurt and the Wildcats grabbed a 38-31 lead.
The Huskies had more turnovers (10) than they did field goals (eight) in the half, but managed to cut into the deficit with a 7-2 run in the closing seconds and trailed 40-38 at halftime.