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Price helps Connecticut snap mini-skid, beat St. John's

Jan 14, 2007 - 6:58 AM NEW YORK (Ticker) -- A.J. Price wanted to rebound from two bad performances, so St. John's took the fall.

Price scored 15 points and freshman Stanley Robinson added 13 and 12 rebounds as No. 22 Connecticut posted a 68-59 Big East Conference victory over St. John's.

Freshman center Hasheem Thabeet had 12 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks and Jeff Adrien added nine points for the Huskies (12-3, 1-2 Big East), who avoided a third straight loss for the first time since January 2001.

Price was just 2-of-8 from the field but made 10-of-12 free throws for Connecticut, which shot 50 percent (22-of-44). Price had tallied just seven points in the Huskies' two consecutive losses this past week.

UConn coach Jim Calhoun earn his 746th victory, tying legendary Kansas coach Phog Allen for 12th place all-time.

Calhoun is also two wins away from capturing his 500th win at Connecticut, which has won six in a row vs. St. John's.

"I thought that Hasheem had his best game in uniform and I thought A.J. Price, who was about as close to the A.J. Price I know, was very good," Calhoun said.

Calhoun left the bench with just over 10 minutes to play in the contest with an upset stomach and did not return until there were 55 seconds left to play.

"I'm not sure if it was the fish I had today or the officiating," Calhoun said jokingly. "I just had to leave for a few minutes. I was able to watch it in the locker room and that made me even more sick after we started throwing the ball away and not boxing out."

It marked the 17th time in his tenure at Connecticut that he had missed part or all of a game due to illness and the first time since Jan. 16, 2006, at Syracuse.

The Huskies, who shot 59 percent in the second half and made 6-of-11 from 3-point range while tallying 11 blocks, improved to 9-8 all-time against the Red Storm in Madison Square Garden.

"Thabeet was real active down low," Red Storm guard Eugene Lawrence said. "He was altering shots. We were still able to get the ball to the rim but we just didn't score."

"I give our kids a great deal of credit," Calhoun said. "For two days we worked only on zone defense. The zone was a major part of getting us the lead. Tonight, I think we had 14 zone defenses and for us that is very unusual."

Aaron Spears scored 11 points and Anthony Mason Jr. and Avery Patterson each had 10 for the Red Storm (10-6, 1-2), who shot just 33 percent (23-of-69) and has lost seven straight to ranked opponents.

"We didn't get off to a great start," St. John's coach Norm Roberts said. "We got the ball in the right positions, we just didn't make some shots. We went to the basket hard, but some shots just didn't fall for us early. It allowed them to get a lead. We battled back but we couldn't overcome the lead."

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    CONNECTICUT (22) 31 37 68
    ST JOHNS 23 36 59 FINAL

    Jan 13 11:44 PM

    CONNECTICUT (22) 31

    Jan 13 10:26 PM