Marquette snaps Connecticut home streakJan 11, 2007 - 5:35 AM STORRS, Connecticut (Ticker) -- Records are starting to fall for Connecticut, and not the ones coach Jim Calhoun wants to see.
Jerel McNeal scored 19 points and Marquette capitalized on a miserable shooting performance by UConn to defeat the 22nd-ranked Huskies, 73-69, in a Big East Conference matchup.
Marquette (14-4, 1-2 Big East) halted Connecticut's school-record home winning streak at 32 games and sent the Huskies to back-to-back defeats for the first time since February 2004.
"For two games in a row, we had the will of another team imposed upon us," UConn coach Jim Calhoun said. "I thought our big guys ... I'm very reluctant to have the guys look at some of the plays they made or didn't make.
"It wasn't the kind of basketball you like to see, when you keep throwing the ball and the ball keeps getting lost. Conversely, our guards couldn't go by people. So, it was a team effort."
Dominic James and Ousmane Barro scored 17 points apiece for the Golden Eagles, who snapped a two-game losing streak, which had marked the first time they had lost their first two conference games in coach Tom Crean's eight seasons.
A 6-10 junior center, Barro finished 7-of-11 from the field and grabbed 13 rebounds in having his way inside against UConn's interior big men when he was not beating them down the floor in transition. Marquette held a dominating 50-39 edge on the boards.
"We were able to rebound with them and eventually go over the top in the rebound margin, which I thought was crucial," Crean said. "And for us, it was shot selection. We turned it over too many times in the first half, but we settled down with that in the second half."
Coming off a dreadful offensive effort in a 66-49 loss at Louisiana State, the Huskies (12-3, 1-2) made the final score look respectable by scoring 16 points in the final 63 seconds after they fell behind, 65-53, with 1:17 left.
"Early on, we missed shots that we normally knock down," UConn guard Craig Austrie said. "We weren't hitting shots. It picked up toward the end - we started hitting shots. But early we weren't hitting shots."
Freshman guard Doug Wiggins scored 19 points and Jeff Adrien added 18 points for UConn, which shot 32 percent (19-of-60) and committed 21 turnovers.
"We're just not playing together," Adrien said. "I felt like there were only a couple of guys that were excited to play. I tried to get them ready to play but it didn't work."
The Huskies fell behind early, 8-1, and struggled to get their offense untracked throughout the first half. UConn hit just three of its first 15 shots and at one part had zero assists and 10 turnovers.
"We have so much talent on the team, and we're wondering what's stopping us from running our offense," Wiggins said. "I don't really think it's so much the opposing team as it's us right now."
Marquette wasn't much better, turning the ball over 22 times, but it managed to put together a 12-0 run to forge a 62-48 lead with 4:38 to play.
Barro and James had five points apiece in the decisive spurt as the Golden Eagles held the Huskies without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes.
"There was no way we could come in here without trying to match that intensity, that emotion and being aggressive," Crean said. "For us to win the game, we had to do a great job of getting back on defense, which I thought we did, because of their fast break."
The teams combined for 69 free-throw attempts in the 2 1/2-hour grindathon, with Marquette making 23-of-35 and UConn converting 26-of-34.
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
MARQUETTE 32 41 73
CONNECTICUT (22) 28 41 69 FINAL
Jan 10 9:33 PM
- NCAA BB
CONNECTICUT (22) 28 HALFTIME
Jan 10 8:02 PM
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