UConn Beats Duke Again

Floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina flow over a levee along the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal, New Orleans. Aug. 30, 2005
AP Photo

Last March, Connecticut beat Duke in the national championship game.

On Friday night, the top-ranked Huskies won again, but this time it was for third place in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.

Albert Mouring went 4-for-6 from 3-point range in the second half and scored 22 points to lead Connecticut to a 71-66 victory over No. 10 Duke one day after the Huskies were stunned by Iowa in the opening round at Madison Square Garden.

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  • "Last time we played them, it seemed like the game didn't start until midnight. Today, we got here at 5 o'clock," Huskies coach Jim Calhoun said. "Last night we certainly played a poor basketball game. Tonight you saw teams that reflected each other in trying to find out what they are."

    The Blue Devils, who had their worst shooting game in coach Mike Krzyzewski's 20 seasons in the opening-round loss to No. 13 Stanford, again struggled from the field and dropped to 0-2 for the first time since the 1958-59 team began 0-3.

    "I hope my athletic director isn't one of those fair weather fans," Krzyzewski said before turning serious. "This is a good group that is only going to get better by playing good opponents. We played two outstanding teams here and lost both and we have to figure out how we should have won the games."

    Mouring was the difference for the Huskies with the long-range jumpers, the biggest of which was his last. It came with 6:19 to play, just after Shane Battier had brought Duke within 54-52 with a 3-pointer.

    Kevin Freeman and Edmund Saunders scored for the Huskies to make it 61-52 with 3:31 left. Battier hit another 3 with 2:34 left but his two 3s were Duke's only field goals in an almost seven-minute span.

    "Albie really came back from lat night," Calhoun said of Mouring, who was 2-for-10 from the field against Iowa. "It was a big bounce back for him and for the team. Once he caught fire we set a lot of screens for him. He still had to deliver."

    The Blue Devils, who shot 28 percent (24-for-85) in the 80-79 overtime loss to Stanford, were 25-for-73 (34 percent) against the Huskies, including 30 percent in the second half.

    "We play good defense already and we have fairly good grit," Krzyzewski said. "We just have to score, especially in the inside game."

    Freeman added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Connecticut, which lost 70-68 to Iowa in its first game as defending national champion. Saunders and Jake Voskuhl each had 11 points for the Huskies.

    Krzyzewski said he felt Freeman, a senior forward, was the difference.

    "Mouring shot well and played well but Freeman was big tonight," he said. "I have always liked him and how he plays and he had a presence tonight he didn't have last night."

    Freeman agreed.

    "I was a lot more comfortable tonight and I stepped it up like we all did," he said.

    Freshman Jason Williams led the Blue Devils with 16 points, all but four from 3-point range as Duke went 10-for-29 from behind the arc. Battier had 15 points, Chris Carrawell 12 and Mike Dunleavy Jr. 11.

    Khalid El-Amin, who had 26 points in the opener, finished with eight Friday night on 2-for-9 shooting.

    "Any time it's UConn and Duke it's going to be a good game," El-Amin said. "I'm just glad we put up the `W."'

    Calhoun didn't have to look any further on the stat sheet than the assists.

    "We had 17 tonight and a very charitable 10 last night," he said. "That makes the game easier for the players and we made a lot of big stops together."

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