HARTFORD, Conn. -- Freshman Omar Calhoun (Queens, N.Y.) scored 16 points and sophomore forward DeAndre Daniels added 13, but the University of Connecticut men's basketball team dropped a 70-61 decison to Villanova on Saturday before a crowd of 15,165 at the XL Center. UConn falls to 17-7 overall and 7-5 in the BIG EAST while Villanova is 16-10 and 7-6 in the BIG EAST.
Ryan Arcidiacono scored 25 points for Villanova as the Wildcats grabbed 20 offensive rebounds. Yarou Mouphtaou added 11 points and had 16 rebounds for the Wildcats.
The Huskies came into the game having won five of their last six, including an emotional upset over rival Syracuse on Wednesday. Villanova held UConn's guard tandem of junior Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) and sophomore Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) to just six points. The pair had been averaging just under 33 points a game.
A pair of Arcidiacono three-pointers sparked an 11-0 run that turned a three-point halftime deficit into a 52-45 Villanova lead and the Wildcats never trailed again. Arcidiancono had five of Villanova's nine three-pointers. Villanova hit nine of 21 from behind the arc during the game. They are now 13-0 when they make six or more three-pointers in a game.
A layup from Yarou gave the Wildcats a 64-57 lead with just over two minutes left and Bell sealed the win with a three-pointer that stretched the lead to 10.
Napier picked up two fouls in the game's first four minutes and the Huskies had a difficult time running their offense without him. Villanova went on an 11-0 run, holding UConn without a field goal for more than seven minutes in the first half, before a fast-break dunk by Daniels made it 13-8.
Daniels had six of the Huskies first eight points. Napier came back in midway through the half, helping the Huskies to a 10-2 run that gave them back the lead at 16-14.
Back-to-back three-pointers from little-used freshman Leon Tolksdorf (Berlin, Germany) brought the crowd into the game and stretched the lead to 22-16. Tolksdorf had just 10 points all season coming into the game, six in BIG EAST play.
Arcidiacono kept the Wildcats close. He had 17-first half points, including the team's final seven of the half. He had five of the team's nine first-half baskets. Napier didn't get his first bucket until after halftime, but had nine assists.
Villanova outrebounded UConn 41-25, including 20-5 on the offensive glass. The Wildcats came in leading the BIG EAST in rebounding, pulling down an average of 39 per game.
The Huskies return to action on Thursday when they take on Cincinnati at 7:00 p.m. at the XL Center. The game will be televised by ESPN and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Network.