Villanova ended all kinds of Connecticut streaks Saturday, including its shortest--games won as the No. 1 team in the nation: one--and the longest in the Big East history: conference games won in a row.
In beating the Huskies, 96-73, at Storrs, Conn., 15th-ranked Villanova extended its winning streak to 11 games and showed UConn that the league race is far from over.
Some outstanding three-point shooting and the career-high 37 points of Kerry Kittles moved the Wildcats (19-5, 12-2) to within a game of UConn (20-2, 13-1), which had won 18 consecutive Big East games and held a 27-game home-court winning streak.
“It was exhilarating when it was happening and it will be exhilarating on the ride home,” Villanova Coach Steve Lappas said.
Depends on how you look at it.
“I don’t think we played all that bad,” Connecticut Coach Jim Calhoun said. “When they had a shot, they buried it. When we had a shot we didn’t. That’s as hard as we’ve been hit as far as a team making shots. We were beaten by an avalanche of ‘threes.’ ”
Villanova finished 14 for 22 from three-point range.
There was also an avalanche of Kittles.
He scored 25 points and was five for eight from three-point range as Villanova took a 48-44 halftime lead.
Eric Eberz took over the second-half work from long range, making five of six three-point shots. He finished with 23 points.
No. 3 Kansas 78, Kansas State 67--Jerod Haase scored 21 points and the Jayhawks, making full use of a big height advantage, turned back a Kansas State rally for their 12th consecutive victory in a Big Eight game at Manhattan, Kan.
The Jayhawks (20-3, 9-2) haven’t lost at the home of their archrivals since 1983. They never trailed Saturday.
Kansas State (11-12, 2-9) lost its fifth in a row and ninth in 10 games, but the Wildcats closed to within 59-58 before 6-foot-11 Kansas freshman muscled inside to tip in a miss by Haase and restore order.
No. 4 Kentucky, 87, Florida 77--Rodrick Rhodes scored 23 points, Tony Delk had 19 and seldom-used reserve guard Chris Harrison hit three three-point shots to spark the Wildcats (18-4, 10-2) to a Southeastern Conference victory at Lexington, Ky.
Florida (13-8, 7-5) shot 53% to Kentucky’s 41% but turned the ball over 22 times.
No. 24 Minnesota 66, No. 8 Michigan State 57--Voshon Lenard broke out of a shooting slump to score 17 points for the Gophers (17-7, 8-4), whose defense shut down Michigan State (18-4, 10-3) in a Big Ten game at Minneapolis.
Oklahoma 94, No. 9 Missouri 89--Ryan Minor scored 11 of his 32 points during a crucial second-half run that helped carry the Sooners (19-6, 6-4) to a Big Eight upset of Missouri (18-4, 7-3) at Norman, Okla., where they are 13-0.
No. 10 Arkansas 85, Mississippi 70--Corliss Williamson made seven free throws and Scotty Thurman hit two three-point shots during a 13-0 first-half run that carried the Razorbacks (21-5, 9-4) in a Southeastern Conference victory over the Rebels (8-14, 3-9) at Fayetteville, Ark.
Seton Hall 82, No. 11 Syracuse 74--The Pirates spoiled a record-setting day by Lawrence Moten, who became the Big East’s all-time leading scorer.
At East Rutherford, N.J., Seton Hall (16-8, 7-7) dealt the Orangemen (17-6, 10-4) their third loss in a row, Syracuse’s first such streak since 1989.
Moten scored 20 points and has 1,328, eight more than former Seton Hall guard Terry Dehere scored in holding the league record.
No. 14 Wake Forest 73, No. 20 Georgia Tech 62--Randolph Childress, held scoreless for 24 minutes after an early three-point basket, helped ignite a 12-0 second half run with a three-pointer as the Demon Deacons (17-5, 8-4) beat Georgia Tech (16-9, 6-6) at Winston-Salem, N.C.
No. 18 Alabama 86, Auburn 73--Jason Caffey scored 20 points and Eric Washington added 18 for the Crimson Tide (18-6, 8-4) in an SEC victory at Auburn (13-9, 6-7).
Washington State 76, No. 19 Oregon 59--Shamon Antrum continued his scoring streak with 27 points as the Cougars (13-8, 8-5) upset Oregon (15-6, 7-5) in a Pacific 10 game at Eugene.
Washington State took a 17-2 lead, and the Ducks never got closer than nine again, shooting only 29% in their worst loss of the season.
Isaac Fontaine scored 18 points and Mark Hendrickson 14 as Washington State completed a two-game road sweep of the Oregon schools. The Cougars, who made their first 24 free throws and finished 28 for 32 from the line, had won only one road game all season when the week began.
No. 21 Iowa State 108, Colorado 68--Fred Hoiberg scored a career-high 41 points, the most by a Cyclone in more than seven years, and they routed the Buffaloes (11-11, 2-9) in a Big Eight game at Ames, Iowa.
Iowa State (19-7, 5-6) won by its biggest margin ever in a conference game in a turnaround from a 71-57 loss earlier in the season at Boulder, Colo.
No. 22 Oklahoma State 93, Nebraska 53--Randy Rutherford scored 22 points and the Cowboys (18-7, 8-2) held Nebraska (16-9, 3-7) without an inside point for the first 29 minutes of a Big Eight victory at Stillwater, Okla.
No. 23 Mississippi State 60, Tennessee 52--Darryl Wilson scored 17 points and the Bulldogs (17-5, 9-3) started the second half with a 12-2 run, beating the Volunteers (8-14, 2-11) in an SEC game at Knoxville, Tenn.
No. 25 Purdue 94, Northwestern 57--Cuonzo Martin scored 25 points and set a school record for three-point baskets with his 152nd as the Boilermakers (18-6, 9-3) beat Northwesern (5-17, 1-12) in the Big Ten at West Lafayette, Ind.
Steve Nash had 23 points and 10 assists as Santa Clara (20-4, 11-1) clinched its first West Coast Conference regular-season championship since 1970 with a 77-62 victory over St. Mary’s (15-9, 8-4) at Moraga, Calif. . . . Ryan Hunter scored 16 points and Billy Lovett scored seven of his 12 on free throws in the last 6:26 as Fordham (9-14) handed Notre Dame (14-11) its third loss in a row, 62-55, in New York. . . . Jamie Booker converted a three-point play with 6.7 seconds to go and Washington (7-14, 3-10) ended a 12-game road losing streak with a 65-62 victory over Oregon State (6-15, 3-9) in a Pac-10 game. . . . Keith Berard scored 20 points to lead Southern Utah (12-10, 3-0) to a 93-64 American West Conference victory over Cal State Sacramento (6-17, 2-2) in Cedar City, Utah. . . . Michael Hawkins led a balanced attack with 21 points and Xavier (21-3) used a 25-5 run in defeating George Washington (16-10) at Washington. . . . Florida State (12-10, 5-8) had only two players in double figures, but it was enough in a 62-57 ACC victory over Clemson (13-9, 3-9) at Tallahassee, Fla. . . . North Carolina State (12-10, 4-8) guaranteed Duke (11-14, 1-12) its worst ACC season ever with an 84-79 victory at Raleigh, N.C.