(19) Connecticut 68

(12-4, 4-2 Big East)

West Virginia 58

(11-6, 1-5 Big East)

    7:00 PM ET, January 25, 2005

    WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, West Virginia

    1 2 T
    #19CONN 31 3768
    WVU 22 3658

    Top Performers

    Connecticut: R. Anderson 22 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast

    West Virginia: T. Sally 16 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Mountaineers stay close but lose fifth straight

    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Connecticut's Rashad Anderson didn't seem to mind watching the start of a game from the bench for the first time this season.

    Anderson scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half to lead the Huskies (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) to a 68-58 victory over slumping West Virginia on Tuesday night.

    Anderson was benched by UConn coach Jim Calhoun despite scoring a team-high 19 points in a loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday.

    Calhoun said Denham Brown earned the starting nod by playing harder than Anderson in subsequent practices.

    "I winked at [Anderson] before the game and said, 'Hey, you may not even play today,' " Calhoun joked.

    Anderson responded by going 6-of-9 from the field -- including four 3-pointers -- and made all six free throws in 27 minutes.

    "I always come out ready to play," Anderson said. "This game wasn't any different than the other games. Charlie [Villanueva] came to me before the game and said, 'Just play better. Don't worry about it."

    Connecticut (12-4, 4-2 Big East) dominated inside, holding a 47-27 advantage against the Big East's worst rebounding team, and watched West Virginia miss long shot after long shot.

    But the Huskies were sloppy on offense and shot just 39 percent from the field in the second half to enable the Mountaineers to stay close until late before losing their fifth straight.

    "Tonight we really got on their shooters," Calhoun said. "The bottom line is for us to play defense like that and hold a team that low in scoring."

    Villanueva added 16 points and Marcus Williams had 12 for Connecticut.

    Tyrone Sally scored 16 points and Patrick Beilein had 12 for West Virginia (11-6, 1-5), which trailed the entire game.

    "We are just not shooting well," Mountaineers coach John Beilein said. "It's a broken record, but we'll stay with it."

    West Virginia trimmed an 11-point deficit to 33-28 early in the second half after a three-point play by Sally.

    Anderson had four points during an 8-0 run that put the Huskies ahead 43-30 midway through the period.

    West Virginia stayed with the long ball despite going just 8-of-33 on 3-pointers and shooting 29 percent overall. Kevin Pittsnogle hit two 3s a minute apart to pull the Mountaineers within 45-39 with 8:19 remaining.

    But every time West Virginia threatened, it seemed Anderson, Villanueva and Williams were there to answer. They combined for Connecticut's final 25 points.

    Anderson hit two 3-pointers a minute apart for a 55-46 lead with 5:38 left.

    "I was in a rhythm tonight," Anderson said. "My teammates were looking for me out there, and somebody needed to step up at those times."

    Connecticut scored all of its points on free throws the rest of the way, going 13-of-16 from the line.

    "This was a crazy game," Villanueva said. "But we kept our composure and knocked down some free throws."

    Connecticut, making its first appearance in Morgantown since 1999, beat the Mountaineers for the fifth straight time.

    Villanueva scored half of Connecticut's first 14 points, either on layins or free throws. The Huskies didn't hit their first outside shot until midway through the first half and led 31-22 at halftime.

    West Virginia's 22 first-half points were its second-lowest of the season. The Mountaineers, who started the season 10-0, were held under 70 points for the sixth straight game.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 68 58
    FG Made-Attempted 18-42 (.429) 18-62 (.290)
    3P Made-Attempted 7-16 (.438) 8-33 (.242)
    FT Made-Attempted 25-31 (.806) 14-19 (.737)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 22 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 13 1

    2004-05 Season

    » Jan 25, 2005 CONN 68, @WVU 58Recap