For now, the great debate about which coast has the best college basketball is over. The East proved its superiority Saturday.
Khalid El-Amin had 23 points and No. 1 Connecticut, rebounding from its only loss of the season and again playing without its leading scorer, never trailed in a 70-59 victory over No. 4 Stanford.
The Huskies forced 16 turnovers and held the Cardinal to 35 percent shooting.
Mark Madsen had 13 points for Stanford, which fell behind by 18 points early and never caught the Huskies despite finishing off the first half with a 12-0 run that included a five-point play sparked by a technical foul on the Connecticut bench.
Albert Mouring added 15 points and Kevin Freeman had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Connecticut (20-1), which broke Stanford's 14-game home winning streak. El-Amin had five assists and five steals.
Arthur Lee had 12 points for Stanford (19-4), which had been 24-0 at home against non-conference opponents over the past five seasons.
Stanford coach Mike Montgomery has complained bitterly in recent years that the West gets little respect and that the Pac-10 is the nation's best conference. Connecticut's convincing victory Saturday should temper such remarks.
By the end of the game, a small group of Connecticut fans were taunting Stanford with chants of "Over-rated, over-rated."
Connecticut, coming off a 59-42 loss at home to No. 16 Syracuse, played for the second consecutive game without leading scorer Richard Hamilton. Hamilton, averaging 22 points per game, is out with a thigh bruise. His replacement, Rashamel Jones, scored two points.
The Huskies' starting center, Jake Voskuhl, returned after missing the Syracuse game with a stress fracture of his left foot. He had two points and four rebounds in 20 minutes.
After trailing by double digits through most of the first half, Stanford pulled within four points at halftime anmade several runs at the Huskies in the second half.
The Cardinal pulled within a basket four times, including at 56-54 with 2:35 remaining. The Huskies then ran off seven consecutive points -- a foul-line jumper by Freeman and five free throws -- to build the lead to nine points.
Lee hit a 3-pointer with 47 seconds left and Connecticut threw away the inbounds pass, but Stanford missed two shots and had to foul Mouring, who hit two free throws. The Huskies hit 12 of 14 free throws over the final 94 seconds.
Connecticut dominated the opening 16 minutes, taking advantage of Stanford's sloppiness and poor shooting to take a 30-14 lead on a short jumper by El-Amin between two defenders. El-Amin had 16 points and four steals during that span.
The Huskies also controlled the defensive end, rejecting four Stanford shots -- including a breakaway layup by Michael McDonald. At times, the Cardinal appeared intimidated by the quickness of Connecticut's defenders.
Stanford had 13 turnovers in those 16 minutes. The Cardinal have averaged 13 turnovers a game this season.
But the Huskies did not score again in the half, and Stanford -- helped by the technical foul -- ran off 12 straight points to end the first half.
Connecticut was leading 30-21 and on offense when Souleymane Wane was called for elbowing Lee and the technical foul was called. Lee hit two foul shots and one of the two free throws for the technical, then Mark Seaton completed a five-point play by dunking after Stanford got the ball out of bounds.
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