SYRACUSE, N.Y. (ESPN.com news services) -- Jim Calhoun wasn't around at the end of
Connecticut's latest victory. He really only needed to see the
Rashad Anderson scored 21 points and Josh Boone had 18 points
and 10 rebounds as No. 3 Connecticut ended No. 20 Syracuse's
12-game winning streak, 88-80 on Monday night.
The Orange (15-3, 3-1 Big East) were no match for
the Huskies (15-1, 3-1), who stormed to a big early lead and beat
Syracuse for the sixth time in eight meetings.
It was the first game between Calhoun and Syracuse's Jim Boeheim
since they were inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in
September. Both have 718 wins, but Calhoun left the bench with
about 4 minutes to go because he wasn't feeling well.
UConn sports information director Kyle Muncy told ESPN.com that Calhoun left the game and headed to the locker room after complaining of dehydration and light-headedness. Assistant George Blaney took over for Calhoun on the sideline.
Calhoun told ESPN's Doris Burke after the game he has been battling a sinus infection, but would be back at practice on Tuesday. Calhoun was expected to fly back to Hartford with the team on Monday night.
Connecticut entered the game leading the nation in blocked shots
at 9.1 per game and put on a stunning defensive clinic in the
opening half. The Huskies blocked 11 shots, allowed only one
assist, and forced 12 turnovers while limiting the Orange to 27
percent shooting (10-for-37) in taking a 45-25 halftime lead.
"Any time you play in the Big East, you don't want to give
anybody a chance to come back," said Anderson, who hit four
3-pointers and scored 15 points in the first half. "We wanted to
put it to them."
They did, and early. UConn threatened to turn the game into a
rout in the opening 5 minutes by scoring the first 12 points of the
game, easily beating Syracuse's vaunted zone defense repeatedly
down the floor behind the masterful passing of Marcus Williams, who
had seven assists in the half.
"Sometimes, we don't start a game sharply offensively,"
associate head coach Tom Moore said while Calhoun was recovering
from a spate of dehydration in the locker room. "It spoke to our
focus before the game. We made the extra pass. We sort of probed
the areas of the zone that we wanted to probe. We had quality trips
the first seven or eight times down the floor."
Syracuse missed its first six shots, had three blocked and
committed three turnovers to fall behind quickly.
"We just had a lack of patience in the first half," Jim
Boeheim said. "It caused us all kinds of problems."
The Orange rallied with an 11-5 run and Gerry McNamara's
left-handed layup moved them within 17-11 midway through the period
as the Carrier Dome reverberated with thunderous applause.
The celebration was short-lived. After Matt Gorman drained a
3-pointer, only the second of his career, to get the Orange within
21-17 at 8:42, Anderson led the Huskies on a 19-0 run that gave
them a 40-17 lead.
Anderson swished two 3-pointers and a baseline jumper and Gay
scored twice, once over bruising 6-9, 255-pound freshman forward
Arinze Onuaku and again seconds later off an alley-oop pass from
Williams. Boone ended the decisive spurt with a layup at 2:58.
"It's about time. I haven't been playing the way that I can,"
said Boone, who scored in double figures for the first time in four
games. "Once we established that we weren't going to allow them to
push us around and poke us, they got a couple of quick fouls, and
once that happens to you, you can't play as physical as you want.
Once we saw that, we just took it to them more."
"They have probably two or three of the best defenders in the
league," said McNamara, who finished with 14 points to move past
Erich Santifer into 10th place all-time at Syracuse with 1,856
points. "It was difficult in the first half."
Gay had 14 points, Denham Brown 11 and Hilton Armstrong had half
of UConn's 16 blocked shots. Williams, making his second start of
the season since ending an 11-game suspension due to an arrest last
summer in the theft of laptops from dorms, had 14 points and 11
Demetris Nichols led the Orange with a career-high 28 points,
all but three in the second half, while Eric Devendorf had 17 and
Louie McCroskey 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.
McNamara and Nichols, the Orange's premier threats from outside
and the team's top two scorers, were 0-for-8 on 3-pointers and
combined for seven points on 2-for-18 shooting in the first half.
The 6-foot-9 Nichols had three of his shots blocked and McNamara
had two swatted away.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.