Huskies take out Panthers

Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 1, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
STORRS, Conn. - Marcus Williams made five free throws in the final 30 seconds and No. 1 Connecticut won its eighth straight, 80-76 over No. 9 Pittsburgh on Tuesday night in a game that looked like the Big East of old.
Rudy Gay had 22 points for the Huskies (19-1, 7-1), who improved to 6-0 this season against ranked teams and to 32-5 when playing as a top-ranked team.
Aaron Gray had 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Panthers (17-2, 6-2), who dropped to 0-13 all-time against No. 1-ranked teams.
There were bodies on the floor throughout the game, the defense was tenacious as both teams tried to go inside because no one was hitting from 3-point range and there was even a technical foul called on each head coach for animated objections to non-calls.
Keith Benjamin hit a floater in the lane with 1:45 left to bring the Panthers within 72-71.
Gay capitalized on a Pitt turnover for a three-point play with 51 seconds left to make it a four-point lead and after Antonio Graves missed a 3, Williams made one free throw with 30 seconds left to make it 76-71.
Freshman Levance Fields hit a 3, Pittsburgh's second of the game in 19 attempts, to make it 76-74 with 19 seconds left. Williams made two sets of two free throws around two by Gray to close the scoring.
Carl Krauser, Pitt's senior point guard who fouled out with 2:58 to play, and Sam Young each had 10 points for the Panthers.
  • NO. 6 ILLINOIS 66, WISCONSIN 51: Dee Brown and Rich McBride scored 16 points apiece for visiting Illinois.
    It was Illinois' fourth straight victory over the Badgers. The Illini (20-2, 6-2) also took sole possession of first place in the Big Ten with the win, moving a half-game ahead of Michigan and Iowa.
    Two Brian Butch free throws brought the Badgers within 58-49 with 2:18 left, but Wisconsin couldn't get any closer in the final two minutes.
  • NO. 17 GEORGETOWN 64, DEPAUL 44: Roy Hibbert scored 17 points and visiting Georgetown used an early 18-0 run night to rout DePaul for its fifth straight victory.
    The Hoyas (15-4, 6-2 Big East) showed why they were able to defeat then-No. 1 Duke 10 days ago - scoring balance, tough defense and strong work on the boards.
  • CREIGHTON 63, NO. 25 N. IOWA 55: Nick Porter scored 14 of his career-high 16 points in the second half and host Creighton spoiled Northern Iowa's debut in The Associated Press' Top 25.
    The Panthers, who until this week had never been ranked in the program's 25-year Division I history, shot just 42 percent. Star guard Ben Jacobson was held to eight points on 3-of-15 shooting.
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