for this game

Price nets 1,000th career point as UConn rolls

Feb 1, 2009 - 2:19 AM STORRS, Connecticut (Ticker) -- Second-ranked Connecticut is off to the fourth-best start in school history thanks to a milestone evening by senior A.J. Price.

Price became the 42nd Huskies player to reach the 1,000-point plateau by pouring in 19 points on Saturday as UConn crushed Providence, 94-61.

Hasheem Thabeet notched his first career triple-double by recording 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks for Connecticut (20-1, 9-1 Big East), which used an 11-0 run to start the second half to position itself as a likely candidate to take over the No. 1 spot in Monday's coaches' poll.

Top-ranked Duke lost to Wake Forest on Wednesday night, opening the door for the Huskies to claim the No. 1 spot with a win over Providence.

"As a team, collectively, we know how good we are, how good we can be," Price said. "Number one hasn't worked out so well for teams this year. We haven't been there yet. We haven't had our chance, so hopefully we'll get that. But we have a tough game (against Louisville) coming up Monday, so not too much time to celebrate."

Price entered with 996 career points and achieved the milestone after hitting his second 3-pointer of the contest with 8:49 remaining in the first half.

UConn's Jerome Dyson, who finished with eight points in this one, also reached the 1,000-point mark by converting a free throw during the second half of Wednesday's 71-49 victory over DePaul.

Thabeet recorded the seventh triple-double in school history, becoming the first Huskie since Marcus Williams on February 21, 2006 to accomplish the feat.

"It was pretty physical today but I was able to be aggressive enough to block a lot of shots," Thabeet said. "It was the defense today. In the second half, we came out five-as-one and were able to get a win."

Randall Hanke scored 16 points to pace the Friars (14-7, 6-3), who had beaten the Huskies four consecutive times on the road prior to Saturday.

"As far as today's game, UConn was a lot more physical than we were, and we got a little rattled by some plays in the second half," Providence coach Keno Davis said. "They knocked down some shots on us and it got out of hand quickly."

Staked to a four-point lead at the half, Connecticut capped its early run when Dyson hit a layup to claim a 47-34 lead with 2:53 into the second half.

"We just did a magnificent job," Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said. "We seemed to really do a better job - maybe it was my approach before the game or my approach at halftime. I know what my approach at halftime was, 'I just couldn't believe that we weren't up 10 or 12 points.' We were leaving points on the board."

The Huskies continued their offensive explosion when Stanley Robinson converted a dunk, punctuating a 28-4 run that gave them a commanding 92-55 advantage with 2:24 remaining in the game.

Robinson finished with 18 points and seven rebounds and Jeff Adrien contributed 14 and seven for Connecticut, which is on the verge of being the nation's top team for the first time since March 2006.

"It means a lot because we've never actually been number one yet," Robinson said. "We just don't want to lose that now."

Meanwhile, the Friars failed to match their best conference start since opening 7-2 in 2000-01.

"I think the good thing for us, as we look to go forward with the second half of the Big East (season), is that (this game) only counts as one game," Davis said. "You've got to have a short memory whether you win a game today, or lose the game. The next game can be just as tough."