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Updated: Saturday, January 11, 2003 5:09 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(3) Connecticut 83, Miami Fla 80 (ot)
MIAMI (FL) HURRICANES
Miami (FL) Hurricanes
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CONNECTICUT HUSKIES
Connecticut Huskies
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STORRS, Connecticut (Ticker) -- Ben Gordon scored 26 points and freshman Denham Brown added a season-high 16 as third-ranked Connecticut rebounded from its first loss of the season with an 83-80 overtime victory over Miami in a Big East Conference matchup.

Gordon hit just 6-of-16 shots, but 4-of-9 from 3-point range where the Huskies connected on 50 percent (7-of-14). He also made 10-of-11 free throws as Connecticut (10-1, 1-0 Big East East division). Gordon also shot poorly Tuesday, making just 5-of-18 shots and fouling out with 12 points in a 73-63 loss at ninth-ranked Oklahoma.

Brown was nearly perfect Saturday, making 5-of-6 from the floor and all six foul shots.

"I'll state the obvious, I thought he was terrific," Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said about Brown. "I thought his plays around the basket were just really good. He was rim-level when he finished plays so you couldn't block his shot."

Darius Rice scored 28 points and James Jones added 26 for Miami (7-6, 0-2 East). Rice sent the game into overtime when he nailed a 3-pointer with two defenders in his face, but the Hurricanes fell to 1-3 in overtime and 1-5 on the road this season.

"Obviously this was just another one of those Miami-Connecticut type of games," Miami coach Perry Clark said. "I thought Ben Gordon stepped up in the first half, he had 17 and he just did a tremendous job of putting them on (his) back and carrying them. In the second half, it was just a Big East basketball game."

Armondo Surratt had a chance to send the game into a second overtime, but his 22-footer from the top of the arc was well off to the right.

Rice, who made a 3-pointer to force overtime in last Saturday's 64-61 win over North Carolina, opened the extra session with another 3-pointer. After a pair of free throws by Tony Robertson, Rice hit a jumper to give the Hurricanes a 76-73 lead with four minutes remaining.

Center Emeka Okafor entered the contest second on Connecticut with 16.9 points per game and first on the team with 12.6 rebounds and 5.3 blocks, but was hurt by foul trouble and went scoreless through regulation. But the 6-9 sophomore made 1-of-2 free throws to pull Connecticut within 76-74 with 3:51 left and, after Robertson blocked a shot by Rice, Okafor hit a layup to put the Huskies up for good at 78-76 with 2:34 to go.

"It was an awkward game for me," Okafor said. "Things didn't go my way. I just couldn't get in any type of rhythm, once I did I'd get a foul and they'd take me out of the game. That's the way it goes sometimes. As long as we win the game, that's OK."

Jones missed a shot on Miami's next possession and Gordon answered with a 3-pointer for an 81-76 advantage with 1:44 to play.

The Huskies got off to a slow start, but closed the first half with a 15-5 run to take a 38-36 lead into the locker room.

UConn built the lead as big as 56-48 on a jumper by Taliek Brown with 9:25 left in the second half. Miami used a 10-5 surge to trim the deficit to 67-66 on a free throw by Jones with 2:29 remaining.


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