No. 2 Villanova Falls Short Against No. 3 Connecticut, 89-75
Feb. 26, 2006
STORRS, Conn. (AP) - It wasn't Connecticut's stars who let the Huskies avenge the loss that knocked them from No. 1.
Denham Brown, Rashad Anderson, Hilton Armstrong and Jeff Adrien all came up big for No. 3 Connecticut on Sunday in an 89-75 victory over No. 2 Villanova.
Thirteen days earlier Villanova beat Connecticut 69-64, but the Huskies (25-2, 12-2 Big East) took control of this game with an 18-3 run after the Wildcats (22-3, 12-2) took their last lead of the game.
Brown, a senior swingman, had a career-high 23 points on 8-for-13 shooting. He had a total of 18 points in the Huskies' last three games, the first of which was the loss to Villanova that ended an 11-game winning streak.
The Wildcats came into this game having won 11 in a row.
Anderson, the leading non-starting scorer in the country at 13.5 points per game, had 17 points and was 5-for-7 from 3-point range.
Armstrong, the senior center who anchors Connecticut's block party that leads the nation at 9.4 per game, had nine points and eight of the Huskies' 11 blocked shots.
Then there was Adrien, the freshman forward, who had eight points and nine rebounds and came up with several big plays in the game-breaking run.
Allan Ray had 19 points for Villanova, but the senior guard left the game with just under 3 minutes to play with an injury to his left knee. He was taken to the locker room and came back with his knee wrapped in ice.
Randy Foye added 18 points for the Wildcats and Mike Nardi had 14. Will Sheridan, the star of Villanova's win in Philadelphia with 13 points and 10 rebounds, had nine points and 11 rebounds. All but one of his rebounds was on the offensive end where Villanova had 24 of its 38 rebounds.
The game was extremely physical with 23 fouls called against Villanova and 22 against Connecticut. The Huskies, though, shot 54.5 percent for the game (30-for-55), including 68.2 percent in the second half (15-for-22).
Ray made two free throws after he was fouled by Armstrong on a breakaway midway through the second half. The foul was called intentional and Ray scored on a drive on the ensuing possession for a 54-53 lead with 10:45 to go.
Ray picked up his fourth foul 25 seconds later and that's when the Huskies started their big run.
Anderson hit two 3s in it and Adrien had two baskets, the second on an offensive rebound, a big steal that led to the first of Anderson's 3s and a defensive rebound that he snatched away from three Villanova players on the Wildcats' third shot of a possession.
Brown's three-point play on a fast break capped the run and gave Connecticut a 71-57 lead with 5:15 to go.
Marcus Williams, who was coming off a triple-double in the win over Notre Dame, had 10 points and 12 assists for Connecticut, while Rudy Gay had 13 points and seven rebounds.
The win improved Connecticut to 9-1 this season against ranked teams, the lone loss to Villanova.