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College Men's Roundup

UConn is back on top

New No. 1 rolls past Louisville

Associated Press / February 3, 2009
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Connecticut looks pretty comfortable at No. 1.

Jeff Adrien scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds and the Huskies celebrated their return to the top of the polls for the first time in three years with a 68-51 dismantling of No. 5 Louisville last night in Louisville, Ky.

Hasheem Thabeet added 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 blocks as the Huskies (21-1, 10-1 Big East) rolled to their 10th straight victory. Jerome Dyson had 14 points and A.J. Price added 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists as the Huskies had surprisingly little trouble shutting down the red-hot Cardinals.

Terrence Williams led Louisville (17-4, 8-1) with a career-high 26 points but got little help.

UConn became the fourth No. 1 team in as many weeks earlier in the day, but managed to avoid the pitfalls that sent Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, and Duke tumbling out of the top spot.

Louisville ended Pittsburgh's run at No. 1 with a 69-63 upset Jan. 17. The Cardinals were hoping to become the first team since Georgia Tech in 1993 to beat two different No. 1s in the same season, but simply couldn't keep up with the Huskies.

UConn improved to 16-2 all time on the road as No. 1 behind the play of their two big men, who dominated the lane. The Huskies outscored the Cardinals, 40-18, in the paint and held Louisville to 34 percent shooting.

The Cardinals had resurrected their season during a perfect January, reeling off nine straight wins - including four against ranked teams.

Yet with 30 pro scouts on hand to watch the two preseason favorites in possibly the nation's toughest conference, the Cardinals were manhandled by the Huskies.

Louisville power forward Earl Clark struggled against whoever UConn put on him, finishing with five points on 2-of-16 shooting. Heralded freshman center Samardo Samuels, clearly bothered by the 7-foot-3-inch Thabeet, was held scoreless, missing both of his shots from the field.

Adrien had no such problems. With the Cardinals sagging to stop Thabeet, Adrien bulled his way wherever he wanted. He hit 7-of-12 field goals.

Not that there were many big shots to hit in the second half as the Huskies turned the Big East Game of the Year - for this week anyway - into a rout late in the first half.

BU 82, UMBC 65 - In Catonsville, Md., Jake O'Brien scored 17 of his career-high 25 points in the second half and the Terriers won their sixth straight game. John Holland had 22 points and Scott Brittain 16 for BU (12-9, 7-2 America East Conference).

Darryl Proctor had 18 points and nine rebounds, and Jay Greene added 17 points for UMBC (9-13, 9-7), which has lost four of six.

UMBC's Chauncey Gilliam was ejected for a flagrant foul against Matt Wolfe with 4:14 remaining. Referees determined that Gilliam had dropped Wolfe with a shot below the belt after a Proctor free throw.

An 18-0 first-half run by the Terriers erased the Retrievers' early 14-6 lead for good. O'Brien had 6 points during the burst, including the final 3 points on a trio of free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt.

Pittsburgh 92, Robert Morris 72 - Sam Young had 23 points and DeJuan Blair 18 to spark the host Panthers (20-2), who were playing their first game while not ranked in the top five since Nov. 22. Pitt has won four of five since losing for the first time this season and falling from the No. 1 ranking it held for two weeks.

Wisconsin-Green Bay 75, Butler 66 - Ryan Tillema scored 21 points and the host Phoenix were almost perfect from the free-throw line in upsetting the No. 11 Bulldogs (19-2, 10-1 Horizon). Green Bay (18-6, 10-2) was 32 for 35 from the free-throw line.

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