HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- A.J. Price hasn't felt this good in
Connecticut's sophomore point guard, who missed one season to
brain surgery and was suspended for another after being involved in
the sale of stolen computers, scored 23 points Sunday in leading
the Huskies (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today; No. 21 AP) to a 77-59 win over Mississippi in the Hispanic
College Fund Classic.
Price hit 9 of 13 shots, had four assists and just three
"I haven't had that feeling since probably AAU, just being out
there and playing really hard on both ends of the floor and just
having fun for 40 minutes," Price said. "It felt really good out
While Price was controlling most of the floor, teammate Jeff
Adrien was taking charge in the paint. The 6-foot-7 sophomore had
13 points and 10 rebounds for Connecticut (4-0), giving him a
double-double in each of the Huskies' first four games.
UConn, which has led the nation in blocked shots for five
consecutive years, had nine against Ole Miss (4-1), three each by
Adrien and 7-foot-3 freshman center Hasheem Thabeet.
"We ran the ball, we rebounded very well," said UConn coach
Jim Calhoun. "Jeff's been a horse for us. Hasheem controls that
There were six lead changes in the early going, but Connecticut
broke the game open midway through the first half, thanks in large
part to Price and Adrien.
Tied at 14, Price hit a 3-pointer to give the Huskies the lead
Up 17-16, the Huskies went on an 8-0 run. When Price found
Adrien with a no-look pass in the lane, his short jumper made it
33-22. The Huskies stretched the lead to 39-23 at the half, when
Curtis Kelly shot an air ball, but Johnson grabbed it and sank a
reverse layup at the buzzer.
Connecticut led by as many as 23 points in the second half,
before Old Miss used a 10-2 run to cut the lead to 63-48 with just
over six minutes left.
Ole Miss felt the absence of junior center Dwayne Curtis, who
has missed the first five games of the season with a broken bone in
his left foot. The Rebels shot just 35 percent from the field and
were outrebounded 44-31.
"As a front line, we were 4-for-21 tonight," coach Andy
Kennedy said. "It becomes a bit demoralizing when you get the ball
when you want it if you can't finish in close."
After winning the season opener by just seven points over
Quinnipiac, the Huskies rolled through this tournament, winning by
29 over Central Arkansas, 25 over Fairfield and 18 over the Rebels.
"I'm leaving satisfied with our team, given who we are,"
Calhoun said of his eight freshmen and five sophomores. "It's the
first time around for almost everybody here. I saw some signs
tonight that I really, really liked."