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Huskies stroll to long-awaited victory

Connecticut guard Kemba Walker, who led the Huskies with 26 points, goes to the basket against DePaul’s Jimmy Drew during the second half. Walker, a first-team All-Big East selection and a contender for national player of the year, scored 19 in the half.

Associated Press

Connecticut guard Kemba Walker, who led the Huskies with 26 points, goes to the basket against DePaul’s Jimmy Drew during the second half. Walker, a first-team All-Big East selection and a contender for national player of the year, scored 19 in the half.

NEW YORK — All the talk at Madison Square Garden is whether ninth-seeded Connecticut can pull off a five-day, five-game run through the Big East tournament, but Huskies coach Jim Calhoun was just happy to get his first tournament win since 2005.

"It's been a while since we had a win here," said Calhoun, whose team had lost six straight in the tournament before a 97-71 win against 16th-seeded DePaul on Tuesday.

Guard Kemba Walker had 26 points to lead UConn, and forward Alex Oriakhi had 13 points and 19 rebounds, matching the school record for a Big East tournament game.

The Huskies (22-9) stormed out to a 23-point lead in the first half, though DePaul (7-24) pulled to within seven in the second half.

No. 21 UConn could wind up playing four ranked teams in as many days, starting with No. 22 Georgetown, which is seeded eighth. Calhoun called the league a "meat grinder" this season, saying the biggest challenge is the absence of many truly easy games in conference play.

"There isn't any game that you can take a breath," he said. "We've had maybe more star power in the league. We've never had so many good, solid basketball teams. … I truly believe every, every team in this league can beat you. … I've never seen that in 25 years. Everybody has had to work for every win, every point, everything they did."

Rutgers 76, Seton Hall 70, OT: The Pirates' Jeremy Hazell forced overtime with a 3-pointer with a second left, but 13th-seeded Rutgers (15-16) beat 12th-seeded Seton Hall (13-18), with former Gators forward Jonathan Mitchell going 8-for-10 at the line in overtime.

Mitchell finished with 25 points, including a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left in regulation. Hazell finished with 27 points in his final game.

Four Seton Hall players fouled out in overtime, and Rutgers took advantage of a 37-19 edge in free-throw attempts.

Marquette 87, Providence 66: Darius Johnson-Odom scored 23 and Jimmy Butler added 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists to lead the 11th-seeded Golden Eagles (19-13). Vincent Council had 21 points and seven assists for the Friars (15-17).

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

First round Quarterfinals Semifinals Championship Semifinals Quarterfinals First round
Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Saturday Friday Thursday
W1 Alabama E1 Florida
W5 Auburn 1, Ch. 38 7:30, Ch. 38 E5 Tennessee
1, Ch. 38 7:30, Ch. 38
E4 Georgia 1, Ch. 28 1, Ch. 28 3:30, Ch. 28 W4 Arkansas
E2 Kentucky W2 Miss. State
E6 S. Carolina 3:30, Ch. 38 10, Ch. 38 W6 LSU
3:30, Ch. 38 10, Ch. 38
W3 Ole Miss E3 Vanderbilt


First round Quarterfinals Semifinals Championship Semifinals Quarterfinals First round
Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Saturday Friday Thursday
No. 1 UNC No. 2 Duke
No. 8 Virginia Noon, ESPN2 7, ESPN2 No. 7 Maryland
Noon, FSN 7, ESPN2
No. 9 Miami 1, Ch. 44 12:30, Ch. 44 3:30, Ch. 44 No. 10 N.C. State
No. 4 Clemson No. 3 FSU
No. 5 Boston College 2, ESPN2 9, ESPN2 No. 6 Va. Tech
2:30, FSN 9:30, FSN
No. 12 Wake Forest No. 11 Ga. Tech

Huskies stroll to long-awaited victory 03/08/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 12:06am]
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