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UConn looks to make road statement at West Virginia

Jan 6, 2009 - 2:55 PM (5) Connecticut (12-1) at West Virginia (11-2) 7:00 p.m. EST

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia (Ticker) -- Connecticut failed its first big conference test. Now, Hasheem Thabeet and the fifth-ranked Huskies look to redeem themselves with a road win over West Virginia in a Big East clash on Tuesday.

UConn (12-1, 1-1 Big East) cruised through its usual soft non-conference schedule while maintaining the No. 2 spot in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll. However, the Huskies were brought back to earth with a 73-64 home loss to then-No. 8 Georgetown on December 29.

Connecticut responded by pounding overmatched Rutgers, 80-49, on Saturday. The 7-3 Thabeet, a non-factor in the loss to the Hoyas, led five players in double figures with 15 points and eight rebounds.

UConn, which allowed Georgetown to shoot nearly 50 percent, will have to put forth a better effort against West Virginia, which eliminated the Huskies from the Big East tournament last season.

Thabeet and company will try to slow Reigning Player of the Week Alex Ruoff, who has been red-hot since returning from shoulder and back injuries.

Ruoff hit a school-record nine 3-pointers en route to 38 points in a win over Radford on December 23. He scored 18 points in a 92-66 win over Seton Hall in the Mountaineers' (11-2, 1-0) conference opener.

The Huskies have lost the last two meetings, including a 78-72 loss in the quarterfinals of the Big East tourney.