Scores

Final

(3) Connecticut 65

(4-0, 3-0 away)

(8) Gonzaga 63

(3-1, 1-1 home)

9:30 PM ET, November 23, 2005

Lahaina Civic Center, Maui, Hawaii

1 2 T
#3CONN 33 3265
#8GONZ 31 3263

Top Performers

Connecticut: R. Anderson 14 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast

Gonzaga: J. Batista 19 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

Brown's last-second shot gives UConn Maui title

LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) -- Connecticut came into the Maui Invitational without suspended point guard Marcus Williams, and star forward Rudy Gay struggled to score in the final two games.

Still, the Huskies found a way to win this rugged tournament.

Denham Brown hit a turnaround jumper with 1.1 seconds left to give No. 3 Connecticut a 65-63 victory over Gonzaga (No. 9 ESPN USA Today, No. 8 AP) on Wednesday night in the championship game.

"This is our team and it's a pretty good one," Huskies coach Jim Calhoun said. "When Rudy didn't play well, Denham stepped up. There were other guys, too. We appear to be a pretty good team with a lot of answers."

The Huskies (4-0) were able to win for a second straight game with Gay struggling offensively. Brown, center Hilton Armstrong and freshman forward Jeff Adrien all stepped up to fill the void. None were bigger than Brown, who hit the winning shot over Adam Morrison and J.P. Batista.

The buzzer sounded but the officials put 1.1 seconds back on the clock and Gonzaga (3-1), which had reached the final by beating No. 12 Michigan State 109-106 in triple overtime in one of the best regular-season games ever played, wasn't able to get off a decent shot as the buzzer sounded for real.

"It was another great game and we almost found a way to keep it going," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "UConn is a tough, tough, tough team, battled-tested and tough to score on. They contest every one of your shots."

The Bulldogs contested Brown's final shot.

"I was trying to get to the rim and I saw the double-team," he said. "I knew I had 4.2 seconds so I was able to go toward the basket. I shook Morrison a little bit and got the shot off."

Morrison gave Brown credit for a great play.

"He shot a right-handed hook over a 6-8 guy. It was a great shot," he said. "I didn't want to foul him so I put my hands up. All tournament it was big plays and he made a big play."

The Huskies, who beat Arizona (No. 8 ESPN USA Today, No. 9 AP) 79-70 in the semifinals, went up 63-59 with 37 seconds left on a free throw by Craig Austrie.

Derek Raivio of Gonzaga made two free throws with 26 seconds left to get the Bulldogs to 63-61.

Gay's shooting woes continued on the free throw line as he missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 25 seconds left. Gonzaga came down court and Morrison had two shots blocked by Armstrong, who finished with five blocks. However, Gay fouled Batista on the rebound of the second shot with 6.6 seconds to go.

Batista made both, setting the stage for Brown's game-winner.

Rashad Anderson had 14 points for Connecticut, while Adrien added 11 and Gay had 10. Brown, who finished 4-for-11 from the field, had nine points. Adrien had seven points in a 5-minute span of the second half as the Huskies took a 58-50 lead with 7:19 to play.

"Rashad got us off the schneid when we were stagnant," Calhoun said. "I think Rudy is one of the best players in the country. We have components, size and enough go-to players."

Morrison, the tournament MVP who had a Maui Invitational-record 43 points against Michigan State, finished with 18. Batista had 19 points and eight rebounds.

Gay had six points on 2-for-10 shooting and five turnovers against Arizona. He was 5-for-10 against Gonzaga but, except for a big dunk with 5:23 left, was never a factor in Connecticut's offense in the second half.

Connecticut had everyone available take a turn guarding Morrison, but Brown had the main responsibility and he got big help on the baseline from Armstrong, who had seven rebounds.

"They kept running fresh guys at me," Morrison said. "I took some bad shots early and I started feeling settled in the second half."

This was Connecticut's first title in an in-season tournament it didn't host since the 1956 Orange Bowl Classic, a run of 23 tournaments. It came in an eight-team field that had four teams ranked in the top 12, plus Maryland (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 23 AP).

"It's a tremendous sense of accomplishment and an amazing feeling to win," Calhoun said. "This field was one of the best ever and there isn't anyone here who didn't get their money's worth."

This was the second meeting between the schools. The first was Connecticut's 67-62 victory in the West Regional final in 1999 that sent the Huskies on to their first national championship.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
CONN
GONZ
Points 65 63
FG Made-Attempted 25-53 (.472) 25-68 (.368)
3P Made-Attempted 5-15 (.333) 4-13 (.308)
FT Made-Attempted 10-18 (.556) 9-11 (.818)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 17 (0/0)
Largest Lead 8 4

2005-06 Season

DATEGAMELINKS
» Nov 23, 2005 CONN 65, @GONZ 63Recap