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Updated: Wednesday, January 28, 2004 10:25 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(8) Connecticut 96, Virginia Tech 60

BLACKSBURG, Virginia (Ticker) -- Ben Gordon dominated the first 10 minutes and Rashad Anderson took over the next 10, making the second half a formality.

Gordon and Anderson combined for 30 points in the first half and were unstoppable from 3-point range as eighth-ranked Connecticut rolled to a 96-60 rout of Virginia Tech in a Big East Conference mismatch.

The Huskies jumped out to an early lead behind Gordon, who scored 11 points in the opening 11 minutes. He buried back-to-back 3-pointers to give Connecticut a 22-11 cushion 10:59 into the game.

Gordon managed only one basket for the remainder of the half, but Anderson came off the bench to score 13 points in the final five minutes. He made three 3-pointers in the last 3:21 to help the Huskies to a 44-27 halftime advantage.

Anderson had 16 of his career-high 26 points in the first half and Gordon added 14 of his 22. The duo combined to make 10-of-15 3-pointers as Connecticut (16-3, 4-1 Big East) went 13-of-23 from the arc.

It was a dominant performance by Connecticut, which bounced back from a stunning loss to Providence over the weekend.

"(The Hokies) caught us after a Providence game that we didn't accept," Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said. "We didn't accept the way we played and we didn't accept the lack of effort. (Tonight) we shot the ball, we got out and ran, and we defended, and I'm proud of the way our kids bounced back from that Providence game."

Emeka Okafor scored 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting as the Huskies shot 60 percent (36-of-60), including a blistering 69 percent (20-of-29) in the final 20 minutes.

Okafor grabbed 11 rebounds and Denham Brown had 10 for Connecticut, which had a 45-30 edge on the glass. The Huskies had 12 offensive rebounds despite missing only 24 shots.

"They were a team that had a cause," Hokies coach Seth Greenberg said. "They're a dangerous team, even when they don't have a cause. They extremely talented and they've definitely got a chance to win the national championship."

The Huskies had their largest lead at 90-52 on Okafor's layup with 4:41 remaining.

Bryant Matthews scored 25 points and Markus Sailes added 10 for Virginia Tech (8-8, 1-4), which has lost four straight games and six of seven.

The Hokies shot just 31 percent (20-of-65) overall, including 5-of-17 from 3-point range.

"I had an idea of what we were about to face going into the game," Greenberg said. "It frustrates you and challenges you. You try to come up with some way to keep the game close, which we were able to do against Miami and Seton Hall. But this team is a different animal."

Virginia Tech played without guard Shawn Harris and forward Fabian Davis, who were suspended by Greenberg for conduct detrimental to the team.


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