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Top 25 men's basketball roundup

UConn pounds Bryant

Win puts Calhoun in elite company

Hasheem Thabeet, who had 12 rebounds, easily swipes this carom away from Bryant's Cecil Gresham. Hasheem Thabeet, who had 12 rebounds, easily swipes this carom away from Bryant's Cecil Gresham. (Fred beckham/Associated Press)
Associated Press / November 30, 2008
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Hasheem Thabeet had 16 points and 12 rebounds and No. 2 Connecticut routed Bryant, 88-58, yesterday in Hartford, giving coach Jim Calhoun his 780th career win.

The victory moves Calhoun into a tie with Lou Henson and Lute Olson for eighth place on the all-time list.

Thabeet led five Huskies in double figures: Craig Austrie (15), A.J. Price (14), Jeff Adrien (14), and Jerome Dyson (11).

Cecil Gresham had 19 points, including 15 in the first half, to lead Bryant (1-3), which is playing its first year in Division 1. He was 6 of 9 from 3-point range.

UConn (6-0) was coming off winning the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands with back-to-back victories over No. 22 Miami and No. 25 Wisconsin.

But the Huskies came out sluggish against Bryant, which led, 15-14, eight minutes in. Austrie responded with a pair of short jumpers and UConn never trailed again.

The Huskies closed the half on a 23-8 run and led, 45-28, at intermission.

They stretched that out after the half, and led, 68-41, when Price hit a 3-pointer from the left wing with 12:50 left.

It was the third time this season the 7-foot-3-inch Thabeet has had double figures in points and rebounds, and Bryant could not match his size inside. UConn outrebounded the Bulldogs, 48-27, and had 24 second-chance points, to just 4 for Bryant.

Connecticut is 184-21 in the months of November and December against nonconference opposition under Calhoun.

This was the fifth consecutive year the Huskies and Bulldogs have met, but each of the other four were exhibition games. UConn won all of those, including a 100-65 victory last season.

Pittsburgh 57, Washington St. 43 - Sam Young scored 15 points and Levance Fields added 14 to lead the No. 4 Panthers in the championship game of the Legends Classic in Newark.

The Panthers (7-0) were able to win despite shooting 35.4 percent from the field (17 of 48). They did it with solid inside defense over the final five minutes, holding the Cougars (5-1) to 3 points in that span.

Pittsburgh forced 15 turnovers and turned them into 17 points, while Washington State was able to get just 2 points off the Panthers' eight miscues.

Daven Harmeling had 12 points for Washington State, which had won 21 straight games against nonconference opponents dating to 2006-07.

DeJuan Blair had 7 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks for the Panthers, who are off to a 7-0 start for the seventh straight season.

Fields struggled from the field, missing eight of his first 10 shots before hitting two straight attempts when the Cougars got within 6 with 4:59 to play.

UCLA 89, Florida International 54 - Freshman guard Jrue Holiday scored 20 points, hitting all eight shots from the field, as the No. 13 Bruins easily disposed of the Panthers (3-4) in Los Angeles.

Darren Collison added 11 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds for UCLA (4-1). Michael Roll made all three of his 3-point attempts and finished with 11 points.

UCLA held a 33-20 rebounding advantage and shot better than 65 percent from the field. The Bruins also made nine 3-pointers.

Josh Shipp, Jerime Anderson, and J'Mison Morgan scored 8 points each for UCLA.

Florida International struggled from the field, making just 15 of 43 shots, but did make 21 of 27 free throws. Nikola Gacesa scored a game-high 21 points in the loss. Cedric Essola had 14 points and seven rebounds, making all 10 of his free throw attempts.

UCLA controlled the game throughout with suffocating defense, forcing 17 turnovers. The Bruins led by as many as 43 in the second half, using a 14-4 run after the break.

Dayton 89, Marquette 75 - Rob Lowery scored a career-high 21 points and the Flyers used their depth and quickness to beat the No. 15 Golden Eagles in the final of the Chicago Invitational Challenge.

The Flyers' 6-0 start is their best since winning their first nine games in 2003-04.

Marquette (5-1) was beaten at its own fast-paced game. The Golden Eagles got a career-high 28 points from Wesley Matthews and 19 points from Dominic James.

The Flyers matched Marquette's quickness on the perimeter by alternating guards and also got a strong performance on the inside from Chris Wright, who finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds, and from freshman Chris Johnson, who had 12 points and 11 boards.

Xavier 60, Miami (Ohio) 53 - Derrick Brown scored a career-high 23 points, and the No. 16 Musketeers overcame cold shooting to stay unbeaten with a victory in Cincinnati.

The Musketeers improved to 6-0 for the first time since 1996-97, when they won their first 10 games. Like most of their games against Miami, this one took on a slog-it-out pace. Xavier pulled it out even though its two point guards were hurt.

Freshman Terrell Holloway suffered a stress fracture in his left foot during the Musketeers' three wins at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off last week. Dante Jackson appeared to pull a leg muscle in the second half yesterday and left with 6:20 to go.

Kenny Hayes scored 19 points for Miami (2-3), which has played nationally ranked teams in three of its first five games. The RedHawks also lost to UCLA, 64-59, and Pittsburgh, 82-53.

Villanova 78, Rhode Island 65 - Dante Cunningham had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and the No. 20 Wildcats broke open a close game in the second half in the championship of the Philly Classic at the Palestra.

Corey Fisher added 14 points, Scottie Reynolds scored 13, and Reggie Redding had 11 points and a career-high 12 rebounds for the Wildcats (6-0). Antonio Pena also had 10 points.

But the big story was the game's physical nature.

Redding needed four stitches above his left eye after the game, and he and Cunningham were forced to change jerseys in the second half because of bloodstains.

Jimmy Baron scored 23 points and Keith Cothran added 12 for Rhode Island (5-2), which had its four-game winning streak snapped.

Miami 79, Stetson 65 - Cyrus McGowan scored a career-high 14 points to lead four Miami players in double figures, and the No. 22 Hurricanes beat the visiting Hatters.

Dwayne Collins and Jack McClinton added 12 points each for the Hurricanes (4-1), while James Dews had 10. Jimmy Graham and Lance Hurdle had 8 points apiece.

Stetson guard Garfield Blair led the Hatters (2-3) with 25 points.

McClinton, Miami's top scorer, had six assists and scored all of his points in the second half. He passed Kevin Presto for 22d place on Miami's career scoring list with 1,164.

A 10-0 run midway through the first half, which included pair of 3-pointers by Eddie Rios, gave Miami a 30-16 lead, and the Hurricanes rolled to a 39-27 lead at the break.

Stetson went just 10 of 31 from the field during the first half.

Wisconsin 67, Wis.-Milwaukee 46 - Trevon Hughes scored 16 points and Joe Krabbenhoft added 12 points and 10 rebounds as the No. 25 Badgers (5-1) rolled to victory in Madison, Wis.

Wisconsin is 24-1 overall against the Panthers (3-4) and has outscored Wisconsin-Milwaukee by more than 15 points a game under coach Bo Ryan, who coached the Panthers before coming to Madison.

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