Scores

Final

Quinnipiac 75

(5-5, 0-2 NEC)

(2) Connecticut 111

(11-0, 8-0 home)

    7:00 PM ET, December 30, 2005

    XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut

    1 2 T
    QUIN 35 4075
    #2CONN 46 65111

    Top Performers

    Quinnipiac: C. Wehye 16 Pts, 16 Reb, 4 Ast, 4 Stl

    Connecticut: H. Armstrong 26 Pts, 10 Reb, 2 Blk

    Huskies trail in first half before crushing in-state rival

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Bring on the Big East.

    Connecticut (11-0) is heading into the conference schedule unbeaten and the second-ranked Huskies have gotten there with size, speed and a rookie backcourt.

    Point guard Craig Austrie played like a veteran Friday night setting a freshman record for assists with 14 in UConn's 111-75 victory over in-state rival Quinnipiac. Austrie broke the previous record of 13 set by Marcus Williams, who was suspended the first half of the season for his role in the theft of laptops from student dorms.

    Williams, last season's Big East assist leader, is eligible to return for the conference opener Jan. 3 at Marquette, but it is Austrie who has earned the start, coach Jim Calhoun said.

    "He's deserved that right. He's led us to 11-0," Calhoun said. "He's evolved into a kid who can play point guard, can lead his team and has a lot of confidence in his teammates."

    The Huskies cruised through a seven-game homestand against overmatched opponents winning by an average margin of 39 points. It's the fourth start of 10-0 or better for the Huskies in 20 years under Calhoun.

    Austrie said he's has been making the most of the talent surrounding him.

    "It makes the game so much easier for me," Austrie said. "Playing with these guys has really stepped up my game to another level."

    Against Quinnipiac, it was Hilton Armstrong taking over the game for the Huskies, who found themselves trailing by six early in the first half. Armstrong finished with a career-high 26 points.

    "The game just came to me," Armstrong said. "I just relaxed a little bit and let it come to me."

    Rashad Anderson finished with 20 points for UConn and Marcus Johnson added 17. UConn was without sophomore Rudy Gay, who is nursing a sore ankle. Without his firepower, the Huskies turned to Armstrong and he didn't disappoint. He was 11-of-14 from the field, grabbed 10 rebounds and had two blocks.

    John Winchester made 5-of-10 3-pointers for Quinnipiac (5-5) and finished with a career-high 25 points. Chris Wehye had 16 points and a career-high 16 rebounds.

    The Huskies discovered early they couldn't afford to look past the scrappy Bobcats. Quinnipiac was able to break the UConn press and had five 3s in the first half to keep it close. Winchester's 3-pointer with 13:06 left in the half gave the Bobcats their largest lead, 22-16.

    "We gave them a good battle for 17 minutes," Quinnipiac coach Joe DeSantis said. "I promised my team that when I watch the tape tomorrow I won't look at the scoreboard. I'll look at how we played. We played hard. They made one of those phenomenal runs on us and the show was over."

    UConn rallied behind the hustle and inside play of Armstrong. He had seven points in a 9-3 run and the teams traded baskets over the next 4 minutes. UConn closed the half on a 10-0 run to take a 46-35 lead. The spurt was sparked by Armstrong, who upended a courtside table to save a ball. The 6-foot-11 center then pulled himself off the floor and raced downcourt in time to field a pass from Austrie and hit an outside jumper, drawing an ovation from the crowd of 16,294.

    "That's just something we do every day in practice. We go hard and somebody's going to fall," Armstrong said. "You just have to get back up and get back in the play. It comes from practicing with Coach Calhoun. He's never just going to let you lay there."

    Armstrong kept it going in the second half. He had four of UConn's first six points and the Huskies began to pull away. Johnson's breakaway dunk off his own steal with 14:31 left gave UConn a 66-40 lead. The Huskies led by as many as 38 down the stretch.

    Connecticut has won all seven meetings against Quinnipiac.

    Austrie, who leads the team with 53 assists, is eager for his first taste of Big East basketball.

    "Playing the whole month of December really prepped us for the Big East," Austrie said. "At the end playing Quinnpiac, a good team, really gave us a wakeup call. We'll be ready for Marquette."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    Team Stat Comparison

     
    QUIN
    CONN
    Points 75 111
    FG Made-Attempted 24-58 (.414) 45-76 (.592)
    3P Made-Attempted 10-29 (.345) 4-10 (.400)
    FT Made-Attempted 17-28 (.607) 17-29 (.586)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 28 (0/0) 18 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 6 38

    2005-06 Season

    DATEGAMELINKS
    » Dec 30, 2005 @CONN 111, QUIN 75Recap