for this game

Price helps shorthanded Connecticut upset Indiana

Jan 26, 2008 - 10:19 PM BLOOMINGTON, Indiana (Ticker) -- Playing without two of his backcourt mates, A.J. Price took charge and led Connecticut to its biggest win of the season.

Price scored 14 points and handed out six assists as the shorthanded Huskies upset No. 8 Indiana, 68-63, on Saturday, snapping the Hoosiers' 13-game winning streak.

On Friday, Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun indefinitely suspended starting guard Jerome Dyson, the team's second-leading scorer, and key backup Doug Wiggins.

Playing with only nine scholarship players, the Huskies (14-5) were able to maintain their slim advantage down the stretch by hitting 12-of-16 free throws over the final three minutes. Craig Austrie, starting in place of Dyson, accounted for nine of those free throws en route to scoring a team-high 15 points.

"This sweat that you see isn't from the game. It is from me hugging every single one of those kids," Calhoun said. "And quite frankly, they deserve more than a hug from me. They deserve one from the state of Connecticut. They deserve a hug from the university. They deserve a hug from our fans."

Indiana (17-2) jumped out fast with freshman Eric Gordon, Jamarcus Ellis and Armon Bassett each knocking down 3-pointers to start the game for a 9-0 lead.

Stanley Robinson finally scored UConn's first field goal nearly five minutes in. The Huskies took their first lead at 17-16 on a 3-pointer by Price.

Price then scored on a layup and buried another 3-pointer to give Connecticut a 24-19 advantage before holding a 29-24 lead at the half.

"We went 4-for-25 for the last part of the (first) half," Bassett said. "I thought we had good shots at the basket, we just didn't make some shots that we usually make today. We didn't get stops when we needed. That's the bottom line."

Price took charge again in the second half. He scored on a layup, then sank a leaner with just over eight minutes left to give Connecticut a 48-39 lead. Hasheem Thabeet then followed with a dunk off a pass from Price as the Huskies opened their first double-digit lead of the game.

"Basketball is a game where you have to play it together," Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson said. "You can't play it by yourself. There will be some games like this. You just have to learn from them. This could be a great learning experience for our team and I think it will be. We'll bounce back."

Thabeet finished with 12 points, while Robinson and Jeff Adrien each had 11 for the Huskies, who shot 43 percent (23-for-53) from the field.

"To do what we did is certainly the greatest win I've had and it's going to get up there since the national championship team beat Georgia Tech," Calhoun said. "It could even beat the Duke game where we came back from down seven."

Bassett led the Hoosiers with 18 points. Gordon finished with 14, D.J. White added 13 and freshman Jordan Crawford 10 for Indiana, which shot 37 percent (23-for-62) from the floor.

"The bottom line is we didn't play good enough to win," Sampson said. "Connecticut's team deserved to win this game tonight. They have a great point guard and their inside guys really dominated five feet and in ... 10 feet and in.

"Give Connecticut a lot of credit. We can sit here and talk about what we didn't do, but let's give Connecticut some credit here. A tough situation for them, their kids came in and really played well."