Minutemen Fall Short Against No. 9 UConn
Dec 10, 2002
By DONNA TOMMELLEO
HARTFORD, Conn. - Ben Gordon scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half as No. 9 Connecticut rallied from 21-point deficit to beat Massachusetts 59-48 Tuesday night.
The Huskies (6-0) managed just nine points in the first half on 4-for-26 shooting (15 percent) and trailed 30-9 at the break. UMass (1-5) took advantage of the absence of UConn's leading rebounder, Emeka Okafor, who was in foul trouble early in the game, and outscored the Huskies 20-4 in the paint.
The last time UMass held an opponent to under 10 points in a half was in 1958 against Trinity, which scored eight. Jackie Rogers had 10 of his 12 points in the first half. He opened the game with three quick baskets, staking UMass to a 6-2 lead.
UConn's turnaround in the second half was a quick one. The Huskies hit six 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes, getting two apiece from Gordon, Denham Brown and Rashad Anderson.
With Okafor back in, the Huskies began to regain their inside game. He had four of his five blocks in the second half. His hook shot with 6:33 left gave the Huskies their first lead at 38-36, and the comeback was complete. UConn hit 12 of 22 shots for 55 percent in the second half.
The Minutemen were unable to regain the lead as the Huskies pulled away 21-12 the rest of the way in a spurt that included another 3-pointer from Gordon and 14-of-16 from the line.
Okafor finished with 12 rebounds and four points. Anderson had 16 points and two steals for UConn and Brown added 11.
UConn leads the series in the rivalry dubbed the "U-Game," 67-38, and has
won the last 12 meetings.