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Price, UConn return home to rout Seton Hall

Jan 18, 2009 - 11:24 PM HARTFORD, Connecticut (Ticker) -- Connecticut has been perfect on the road this season. A.J. Price and the Huskies also clearly are comfortable playing in the Nutmeg State.

Price scored 14 of his 23 points in the first half and finished with five assists Sunday afternoon, leading fourth-ranked Connecticut to a 76-61 rout of Seton Hall.

Hasheem Thabeet had 15 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks while Jeff Adrien chipped in 13 points and 12 boards for the Huskies (16-1, 5-1 Big East), who have won 22 of their last 24 meetings with the Pirates.

"We did some good things today," Price said. "In the first half, we looked very good at times. We'll take something from that and build off that."

The Huskies recently completed a perfect three-game road trip in which they won at West Virginia, Cincinnati and St. John's. UConn is 5-0 in road games this season and also won a trio of neutral-site contests in November.

Price struggled in the wins against West Virginia and St. John's, managing a combined total of nine points in those victories.

But the senior finished three points shy of his career high Sunday, shooting 9-of-16 from the floor and going 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.

"When I haven't done my job, (my teammates) have done a great job of picking up the slack," Price said. "I'll do my best to try to be more consistent and get us into that good rotation."

"We know what A.J. is capable of doing," Adrien added. "He scored 20-something - we know he can do that every night. Some nights it's not falling."

After looking sluggish in the opening minutes, the Huskies took control by closing the first half on a 14-3 run that gave them a 42-26 halftime cushion.

"(Seton Hall) is a really good offensive team," UConn coach Jim Calhoun said. "We were really convinced that they would come out and pressure us."

Seton Hall scored the first six points of the second half, but Price answered with a 3-pointer to give UConn a 45-32 cushion with 17:50 remaining.

"I just don't see too many teams in the league that have two special guys like (Thabeet and Adrien)," Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez said. "They're a problem, especially with A.J. Price."

Jeremy Hazell's layup sliced Seton Hall's deficit to 47-36 with 16:42 left. The Huskies answered again, however, as Thabeet scored four straight points before Craig Austrie sank a 3-pointer to make it 54-36 with 14:07 left.

Hazell scored 20 points and Robert Mitchell added 19 for Seton Hall (9-8, 0-5), which shot just 11-of-35 (32 percent) from the floor in the first half.

"(Hazell) found a way to get 20 points," Gonzalez said. "He was a lot more active in the second half. He ran to the corner. He found ways to get open. We did a better job finding him."