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Updated: Friday, March 11, 2005 1:35 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(14) Connecticut 66, Georgetown 62

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Connecticut's recent dominance of the Big East Conference tournament almost ended in its quarterfinal game with Georgetown.

The Huskies, who led for just about the entire game, narrowly escaped when Ashanti Cook's wing jumper that could have tied the game with two seconds left missed, giving No. 14 Connecticut a 66-62 win for its seventh-straight victory.

"We knew the play we wanted to run and it ended up being wide open," Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. "It wasn't necessarily go for the win or go for the tie. We felt we could take either one. All three of those guys (Darrel Owens, Cook and Jeff Green) are good shooters, so if it ended up being a three, we didn't mind that."

"I was guarding him and he was fading," Connecticut guard Marcus Williams said. "I figured he wouldn't make it because he was off balance. I was just hoping we'd get the rebound."

The Huskies, who have won two of the last three conference tournament championships and have played in six of the last seven finals, will face Syracuse in the semifinals Friday.

"We played one of our poorer games," Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said. "A lot of that had to do with Georgetown, but we did things we don't normally do. We played so loose collectively, offensively and defensively. I don't want to take that game mentally against any team into the tournament."

Rudy Gay scored 11 of his 17 points in the second half and Williams added 14 and 10 assists for Connecticut (22-6), which has beaten Georgetown three times this season.

The Huskies, who shot 54 percent (27-of-50), committed 15 turnovers and uncharacteristically allowed the Hoyas to connect on 48 percent (24-of-50) while forcing just 10 miscues.

"We played 28 basketball games against good teams and they shot a higher percentage against us than anybody," Calhoun said. "That is a testament to them. I hope the (NCAA) committee looks at them carefully."

Cook scored 11 of his 17 points after intermission, Brandon Bowman added 15 and Owens 13, including a 3-pointer with 40 seconds remaining to draw the Hoyas within 64-62. Georgetown (17-12), which lost six of its final seven games, probably lost any chance of an at-large NCAA bid with its late-season slump.

"We just stuck with it and depended on each other," Thompson said. "We made some key stops and we got some big rebounds. At the offensive end, we had some guys step up and make some key shots. We did a good job of putting ourselves in position to win."

After Cook missed the jumper, Connecticut's Denham Brown was fouled and made two free throws with 1.6 seconds left to seal the verdict.

Charlie Villanueva had 11 points and eight rebounds and Josh Boone added nine and eight for the Huskies, who outrebounded the Hoyas, 27-17, and allowed just four offensive rebounds.

Rashad Anderson, who missed the last seven games recovering from a skin abscess and resulting infection, did not score in 11 minutes.

"I am very happy for him," Calhoun said. "He went through a life-threatening experience and it is great to see him back. I think he will come back tomorrow and be ready to play at least as many minutes, if not more. If we are fortunate enough to keep on going in the postseason, I'm sure he will have something to say about our success."

Georgetown jumped to a 10-4 lead four minutes in, but Connecticut went on a 17-3 blitz, sparked by eight points from Williams, to take a 21-13 lead with eight minutes to play. The Huskies, who led the rest of the way, held a 32-26 lead at the break.

The Huskies pushed their lead to 44-31 with 14 minutes left on baskets by six different players, but the Hoyas pulled within six three different times. But on two of those three occassions, Gay responded with a 3-pointer and a three-point play.

A 9-2 run over the last five minutes, capped by Owens' shot from the arc, brought the Hoyas to 64-62.


© 2005 STATS, Inc
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