Feb. 22, 2010
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HARTFORD, Conn. -
Sophomore point guard Kemba Walker (Bronx, N.Y.) scored five of his game-high 21 points in the game's final minute as Connecticut held on to defeat 8th-ranked West Virginia, 73-62, in a BIG EAST men's basketball contest before a crowd of 15,082 at the XL Center.
The Huskies, winners of three straight, improve to 17-11 on the season and 7-8 in conference action. The Mountaineers drop to 21-6 and 10-5 in league play.
The Huskies, who had led by as many as 15 in the first half, led 66-62 after Kevin Jones tipped in a Da'Sean Butler miss with 1:35 to play. On Connecticut's next possession, senior guard Jerome Dyson (Potomac, Md.) missed a short jumper in the lane, but senior forward Stanley Robinson (Birmingham, Ala.) caught the rebound and dunked in one motion to put the Huskies back ahead by six. On the Mountaineers next possession, Walker stole Devin Ebanks' pass and cruised in for the game-clinching dunk. West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins was called for two technical fouls, and Walker made three-of-four charity tosses to make the final margin 11.
Walker made just three-of-10 shots from the field, but for the second time in three games, he made 14 free throws. He surpassed the 20-point barrier for the eighth time in his Connecticut career. Dyson scored 17 points, as he passed Scott Burrell for 14th place on the all-time scoring list at Storrs.
Robinson scored 15 points and yanked down a game-high 13 rebounds in registering his 17th career double-double and seventh of the campaign. Senior forward Gavin Edwards (Gilbert, Ariz.) scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds before fouling out. Freshman center Alex Oriakhi (Lowell, Mass.) grabbed eight rebounds off of the Connecticut bench.
The Huskies trailed early, falling behind 5-0 in the game's first minute and led 15-13 in the first half before going on a 13-0 run over a 5:40 span of the first half. Edwards scored five points in the key run as the Huskies settled for a 37-28 lead at intermission.
Connecticut shot just 42 percent for the contest (20-of-48) but made 30-of-42 free throws, and earned a 37-33 advantage on the backboards. The 10 turnovers committed by the Huskies matched their season-low in that category.
Ebanks led the Mountaineers with 17 points and nine rebounds. Butler, who entered the contest as the leading West Virginia scorer, was hounded all game on the defensive end by Dyson, shot just 2-of-10 and scored only nine points.
The Huskies will now play their home finale on Sunday, February 28 when they entertain Louisville at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Connecticut will honor its seniors on Senior Day before tipoff, which is set for 2 p.m. The contest will be televised nationally on CBS.