Box Score  
Statistics  
NEW YORK (March 13, 2008) – Joe Alexander scored 34 points to lead fifth-seeded West Virginia to a 78-72 victory over the fourth-seeded University of Connecticut men’s basketball team in the Quarterfinal Round of the 2008 BIG EAST Championship at Madison Square Garden. The game was played before a sellout crowd of 19,562.
Connecticut is now 24-8, while the Mountaineers improve to 23-9 with the victory.
West Virginia led by double figures throughout the second half before the Huskies rallied. West Virginia led 70-63 when A.J. Price (Amityville, N.Y.) drove the length of the floor and scored and was fouled by Alex Ruoff, bringing the Huskies to within five. However, Price missed the free throw and the Huskies were unable to score again until the Mountaineers had increased the lead back to 10 at 75-65.
The Huskies were led by Price, the All-BIG EAST First Team selection. He scored a team-high 22 points and added a game-high six assists. It was the ninth team this season that Price had reached the 20-point plateau.
Connecticut’s other All-BIG EAST First Team selection, Jeff Adrien (Brookline, Mass.) added 11 points and shared team rebounding honors with Hasheem Thabeet (Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania) with six caroms. Adrien scored in double figures for the 24th consecutive game.
Sophomore forward Stanley Robinson (Birmingham, Ala.) also scored 11 points for the Huskies. Guards Jerome Dyson (Rockville, Md.) and Doug Wiggins (East Hartford, Conn.) combined to score 15 points on five-for-seven shooting off of the Connecticut bench.
The first half saw both teams shoot well as both teams shot over 52 percent from the field in the opening twenty minutes. The Huskies earned their biggest lead of the game at the 11:42 mark of the opening half when Thabeet made a three-point play to put the Huskies ahead by six, at 20-14. But the Mountaineers rallied to lead 42-36 at intermission.
The second half was a foul-filled affair, as 39 free throws were attempted in the second half. West Virginia dominated the battle of the boards, 42-26, including a 14-5 advantage on the offensive glass. The Huskies forced many tough shots as the game was winding down but the Mountaineers continually got big offensive rebounds that led to second-chance opportunities that they converted. West Virginia made 18 free throws in the second half. There were 50 fouls called in the game, 33 in the second half.
Alexander made 12 of 22 shots from the field and was 10-of-12 from the line. Da’Sean Butler added 17 points, while Darris Nichols chipped in with 13 points for West Virginia.
The Huskies will now await an at-large bid to the 2008 NCAA Championship. The 65-team field will be announced on Sunday evening.