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January 13, 2007
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NEW YORK -Freshmen Stanley Robinson, A.J. Price and Hasheem Thabeet combined for 40 points and No. 24 Connecticut snapped a two-game losing streak with a 68-59 victory over St. John's on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
The Huskies (13-3, 2-2 Big East) didn't exactly break out of the offensive funk that saw them shoot 31 percent and fail to break 70 points in their last two games, losses to LSU and Marquette.
But with Price scoring 15 points, Robinson adding 13 points and 12 rebounds and Thabeet having 12 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks, Connecticut did enough to avoid losing three straight games for the first time since dropping five in a row in January 2001.
Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 2005, left the bench with 11:49 to play just as a timeout was about to begin. The Huskies were leading 45-33 when he left.
A school official said Calhoun didn't feel well and was being checked out by the team doctor. He returned with 55 seconds left and the Huskies leading 64-54.
Aaron Spears had 11 points for the Red Storm (10-7, 1-3), who lost their third straight and fourth in five games.
The Huskies, who had not lost two straight games in almost three years, scored the game's first 12 points and appeared headed to an easy win. But they committed 12 turnovers and weren't able to sustain the hot early shooting. St. John's was within 31-23 at halftime despite shooting 32.3 percent (10-for-31).
About 3 minutes after Calhoun left the bench, the Huskies took their biggest lead, 52-35 on a dunk by Marcus Johnson. Spears had a three-point play that got the Red Storm within 52-42 with 7:30 to go, but Thabeet scored down low and Robinson hit a 15-foot jumper and a 3-pointer and the lead was 17 again with 4:39 left.
But St. John's was able to get within seven points three times, but the Huskies went 5-for-6 from the free throw line over the final 55 seconds to keep the Red Storm at bay.
Connecticut finished at 50 percent for the game (22-for-44) and committed 19 turnovers.
Lamont Hamilton, St. John's leading scorer at 13.8 per game, had nine points, all in final 8:16 as he was limited to 19 minutes because of foul trouble.
St. John's shot 33 percent for the game (23-for-69) and had 11 shots blocked.
For more coverage of UConn, visit UCONNReport.com.
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