Men's Basketball

 
Men's Hoops Falls To No. 1 Connecticut, 91-67

Connecticut's Ben Gordon defends against Jeff Viggiano in the first half.

Connecticut's Ben Gordon defends against Jeff Viggiano in the first half.

Dec 30, 2003

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Massachusetts mobbed Connecticut's Emeka Okafor inside but had no answers for Ben Gordon outside.

Gordon scored 34 points, going 7-of-8 from 3-point range, to lead the top-ranked Huskies to an easy 91-67 victory over its border rival on Tuesday night.

The annual so-called "U-Game" was all UConn.

The Huskies (10-1) lead the series 68-38 and have owned the Minutemen the past several years, winning the last 13 meetings and 21 of 22.

UMass (5-5), led by Jeff Viggiano's career-high 22 points, had its three-game winning streak snapped.

Okafor, consistently double-teamed, played just 20 minutes before fouling out and was held to six points, 12 below his average. But the junior center still grabbed 10 rebounds and had five of UConn's 10 blocks. With Okafor's time limited, Charlie Villanueva stepped up in the post with a career-high 19 points, most off offensive rebounds. He also had 10 rebounds for UConn's dominant post game.

The Huskies outrebounded UMass 48-27 and scored 27 points off offensive rebounds.

Unlike last year when UConn rallied to win from a 25-point deficit with under 19 minutes to play, the Huskies wasted no time controlling this game. Gordon opened the game with 3-pointer to kick off an 11-0 run.

The Huskies dominated inside early and in the first five minutes had outrebounded the Minutemen 8-0. The defensive rebounding fueled UConn's transition game and the Huskies led 55-29 at halftime.

The second half was more of the same as it started with a 3 by Gordon and a 9-0 run. Gordon finished three points shy of his career high set Nov. 19, in a 93-79 win over Nevada.

Taliek Brown matched a career-high with 12 assists for UConn.

Rashaun Freeman and Anthony Anderson each scored 15 points for UMass.

UMass men's basketball returns to action this Saturday, January 3 as it hosts Tennessee at the Mullins Center. The opening tip is slated for 5:30 p.m.

 

 

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