9:00 PM ET, January 16, 2006
Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York
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 first half.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 assists. 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.
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||30-57 (.526)||26-81 (.321)|
|3P Made-Attempted||7-15 (.467)||13-32 (.406)|
|FT Made-Attempted||21-34 (.618)||15-21 (.714)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||18 (0/0)||26 (0/0)|