Men fall short against UConn

Cailin Brophy

In a fight of ‘Cats and dogs, it was the Huskies who emerged victorious this past Saturday, handing Villanova its first Big East loss of the season in a 74-65 victory at the Hartford Civic Center.

The Huskies, were hungry for a win after suffering road losses to North Carolina and conference foe Miami.

Their desire for a win was obvious, as the Huskies cooled the red-hot shooting of the Wildcats. UConn held the Wilcats to only 36 percent shooting from the floor.

“We understood what we faced going into Hartford,” ‘Nova head coach Jay Wright said.

“We knew it would be a tough environment. We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but their defense had a lot to do with that.”

Meanwhile, UConn head coach Jim Calhoun was able to get significant production from his bench, which chipped in 27 points.

Two-thirds of that contribution came from guard Rashad Anderson, who had a career day in hitting seven of nine shots.

Anderson’s performance including hitting four from downtown en route to an 18-point performance.

Starting guard Ben Gordon chipped in 17 points largely from his 11-12 accuracy from the charity stripe.

Center Emeka Okafor was a force in the post, scoring 14 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and four blocks.

The Wildcats were led by Gary Buchanan, who scored 14 on what was an uncharacteristic cold-shooting day for him, going 5-14 from the floor. Guards Derrick Snowden and Randy Foye each scored 11.

With the loss, the Wildcats fell to 12-6 overall with a 5-1 mark in the Big East. The Huskies’ record stands at 12-3, with a 3-1 mark in conference play.

Despite the loss, coach Wright is still pleased with his team’s progress as they make their way through the Big East schedule. “We’re coming along,” he said. “We still have work to do but I like what I’ve seen so far.”

The Wildcats will look to get back on track tomorrow when they face West Virginia at 2 p.m. at the Pavilion.

For more on the matchup between ‘Nova and the West Virginia Mountaineers, turn to the Basketball Bonus on page 37.