Quinnipiac 71

(4-5, 1-0 NEC)

(11) Connecticut 123

(8-1, 8-0 home)

    7:00 PM ET, December 30, 2004

    XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut

    1 2 T
    QUIN 31 4071
    #11CONN 56 67123

    Top Performers

    Quinnipiac: R. Monroe 16 Pts, 3 Reb, 10 Ast, 3 Stl

    Connecticut: J. Boone 22 Pts, 10 Reb, 1 Ast, 8 Blk


    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- There's no stat for smiles, but Connecticut had plenty to go around Thursday night.

    The 11th-ranked Huskies were a regular fun bunch, cruising to a 123-71 win over instate rival Quinnipiac. Josh Boone led UConn (8-1) with a career-high 22 points and eight blocks.

    "We're really starting to flow as a team. We're really starting to have some fun out there and that's what the main thing is," Boone said. "We play a lot better when we're actually having fun."

    Coach Jim Calhoun wanted more enthusiasm from his players after a lackluster win over Sacred Heart two nights earlier. His message got through.

    "Their attitude was the thing that made me feel the best," Calhoun said. "To see them really enjoying playing with each other, I'll have a better feeling driving home tonight knowing they enjoyed playing basketball."

    Boone dominated inside for the Huskies, who had eight players in double figures and scored 72 points in the paint. The sophomore center also finished with 10 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season.

    The 123 points were the most UConn has scored in the Hartford Civic Center in 251 games.

    The overmatched Bobcats (4-5) became the latest instate rival to fall to the reigning NCAA champs. The Huskies have won the last 57 meetings with instate foes and extended their series lead over Quinnipiac to 6-0.

    "They beat us every which way but loose," Quinnipiac coach Joe DeSantis said. "They just overwhelmed us. That happens. They're a great team. You just move on."

    Boone had plenty of help inside as Charlie Villanueva had 17 points and a career-tying 13 rebounds, and the Huskies outrebounded Quinnipiac 60-30. Hilton Armstrong finished with 11 points and six blocks.

    The bigger and faster Huskies got to the line 44 times, hitting 28 shots.

    UConn guard Marcus Williams had 10 points and 10 assists for his first double-double. He and backcourt mate Antonio Kellogg combined to shut down Rob Monroe, the Bobcats' leading scorer. Monroe finished with 16 points, four below his average and got half of them in the closing minutes of the game.

    C.J. Vick added 12 for Quinnipiac, which has played seven of its first nine games on the road.

    Villanueva finished with his first double-double of the year and clearly enjoyed getting it.

    "The more I smile the better I feel," he said. "Everybody is just having fun. Basketball is a fun game. We just need to show enthusiasm and passion and we can definitely do it."

    Boone was a perfect 6-for-6 in the first half, getting most of his points from putbacks and offensive rebounds. He also had five blocks and six boards in the period.

    The Huskies roared back from an early 8-2 deficit with transition offense and easily outscored the Bobcats 38-12 the paint to lead 56-31 at the break.

    The last loss to an instate rival was a 49-48 defeat to Hartford during Calhoun's first season in 1986.

    Thursday's win was the Huskies' final tuneup before opening Big East play against unbeaten Boston College on Wednesday. Calhoun wants to see that passion present in the tougher conference games and two nonconference games with Oklahoma and North Carolina.

    "Hopefully we're going to carry over some of this. We'll be playing teams equal to our size, but we still are a fairly big team even in the Big East," Calhoun said. "We'll have more than our work cut out for us."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 71 123
    FG Made-Attempted 26-68 (.382) 45-79 (.570)
    3P Made-Attempted 9-26 (.346) 5-17 (.294)
    FT Made-Attempted 10-15 (.667) 28-44 (.636)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 33 (0/0) 15 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 6 52

    2004-05 Season

    » Dec 30, 2004 @CONN 123, QUIN 71Recap