(16) Connecticut 77

(11-3, 3-1 Big East)

Seton Hall 68

(8-7, 0-4 Big East)

7:00 PM ET, January 17, 2005

IZOD Center, East Rutherford, New Jersey

1 2 T
#16CONN 38 3977
HALL 37 3168

Top Performers

Connecticut: J. Boone 20 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl, 3 Blk

Seton Hall: A. Sweet 22 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

Boone leads Huskies with 20 points

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Jim Calhoun had a right to brag about his young frontcourt.

"People like to say that we have tall guys on our front line," the Connecticut coach said, referring to sophomores Josh Boone and Charlie Villanueva and freshman Rudy Gay. "I like to say we have talented, tall guys on our front line and tonight it showed."

The three combined for 54 points on 21-for-32 shooting, grabbed 27 rebounds and blocked 10 shots as the Huskies (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 16 AP) beat Seton Hall 77-68 on Monday night.

Boone was 8-for-8 from the field and had 20 points and eight rebounds. Villanueva had 16 points and 12 rebounds. Gay had 18 points and four blocks, one more than each of his fellow big men.

Connecticut (11-3, 3-1 Big East) needed all of that because the Huskies went 0-for-6 from 3-point range -- ending a 119-game streak with at least one 3 -- and didn't get much from their backcourt until the final minutes.

Boone, Villanueva and Gay scored Connecticut's first 28 points of the second half.

"Not getting outside shots makes it a little tougher but you just have to step up," Boone said. "The outside shots will come. It's just a little slump right now. There's going to be games when they get 50, 60 points. It's just someone else stepping up and tonight it was the inside guys."

It was Connecticut's 11th win in the last 12 meetings with Seton Hall, which trailed by 15 points in the first half and stayed close despite shooting 36 percent and being outrebounded 46-31.

Andre Sweet had 22 points for the Pirates (8-7, 0-4), who lost their fourth straight and are off to their worst conference start since going 0-7 in 1985-86.

"We knew their game was mostly dictated by the big men. We know they have good guards but the big men make them go," Seton Hall freshman guard Justin Cerasoli said. "We wanted to take them out of the game and make the guards beat us, and still they scored. They are real good players."

Sweet scored down low to bring the Pirates to 66-63 with 4:13 left. Freshman guard Antonio Kellogg then broke the frontcourt's scoring dominance with a three-point play with 3:47 to go.

J.R. Morris hit a 3 for Seton Hall to make it 69-66 with 2:40 left and Marcus Williams, the starting point guard who was limited to 10 minutes by foul trouble, made a three-point play with 2:07 left. Seton Hall got no closer than 72-68 after that.

"Marcus is a gamer, you can't count him out," Gay said. "We're a deep team and anybody can do it for us."

The Huskies shot 52.6 percent (30-for-57).

"We have to learn to play 40 minutes, not great for 10 or 12," Villanueva said. "Once we learn to do that, we'll be a great team."

Connecticut scored the first 12 points of the game, and two free throws by Gay made it 30-15 with 6:12 left. Seton Hall then went on a 22-6 run to take a one-point lead with 12 seconds left in the half. Boone made two free throws with less than a second left for a 38-37 halftime lead.

Connecticut finished with 18 turnovers, 12 of which came on steals by the Pirates. That showed how much the Huskies missed Williams, a sophomore who has had to take over as the leader after the departure of Taliek Brown and Ben Gordon.

"Down the stretch he showed his confidence and made the great play," Calhoun said. "I like him but I don't want him sitting next to me that long. I like him on the floor."

Kelly Whitney and Morris each scored 13 points for Seton Hall. Sweet had a couple shots blocked by Connecticut's athletic big men.

"A couple of times I thought I had my shot free and swoosh, out of nowhere," Sweet said. "But they are young. Last year they had (Emeka) Okafor. He was a veteran. He was more of a physical presence and extremely athletic. This year they are relying on athletic people. With age, they are going to get more physical, but they are a very talented team."

Gordon sat in the first row behind the Connecticut bench. Hours earlier at Madison Square Garden he hit the game-winning shot with less than a second to play in the Chicago Bulls' 88-86 victory over the New York Knicks.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 77 68
FG Made-Attempted 30-57 (.526) 25-69 (.362)
3P Made-Attempted 0-6 (.000) 5-17 (.294)
FT Made-Attempted 17-20 (.850) 13-19 (.684)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 19 (0/0)
Largest Lead 15 2

2004-05 Season

» Jan 17, 2005 CONN 77, @HALL 68Recap