Villanueva sidelined pending eligibility issues

Updated: November 3, 2003, 11:35 PM ET
Associated Press

STORRS, Conn. -- Ben Gordon scored 21 points and Emeka Okafor had 16 Monday night, leading Connecticut to a 96-78 exhibition win over Team Nike.

UConn led by 19 points in the second half before Team Nike rallied within six.

Sophomore Marcus White led the Huskies with 14 rebounds and freshman Josh Boone also turned in a solid post game with 12 boards. Taliek Brown had 14 points and Denham Brown added 13 for the Huskies.

Wayland White led Team Nike with 15 points and former West Virginia guard Lionel Armstead added 12.

Connecticut freshman Charlie Villanueva sat out the game while the school awaits an NCAA ruling on his eligibility, stemming from his workouts in front of NBA scouts last summer while he considered entering the NBA draft.

NCAA rules state that the recruit or a family member or friend not related to basketball must pay all expenses for such workouts. If there was a violation, Villanueva would likely have to serve a short suspension. Until the situation is resolved, UConn is withholding Villanueva as a precaution.

"Naturally, Charlie is disappointed," coach Jim Calhoun said. "We'd like to put this all behind us. Hopefully, within the next 10 to 15 days, we'll have the completion of the look into him. This all started in May, and now it's November. I would have thought it would be over by now."


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press