By PAT EATON-ROBB, Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Ryan Arcidiacono scored 25 points and Villanova grabbed 20 offensive rebounds in beating Connecticut 70-61 on the road Saturday.
Yarou Mouphtaou added 11 points and had 16 rebounds for the Wildcats (16-10, 7-6 Big East).
Omar Calhoun scored 16 points to lead UConn (17-7, 7-5). The Huskies came into the game having won five of their last six, including an emotional upset over rival Syracuse on Wednesday.
But Villanova held UConn’s guard tandem of Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright to just six points. The pair had been averaging just under 33 points a game.
A pair of Arcidiacono 3-pointers sparked an 11-0 run that turned a three-point halftime deficit into a 52-45 Villanova lead and the Wildcats never trailed again.
Arcidiancono had five of Villanova’s nine 3-pointers. Villanova hit 9 of 21 from behind the arc during the game. They are now 13-0 when they make six or more 3-pointers in a game.
A layup from Yarou gave the Wildcats a 64-57 lead with just over 2 minutes left and Bell sealed the win with a 3-pointed that stretched the lead to 10.
Shabazz Napier picked up two fouls in the game’s first 4 minutes, and the Huskies had a difficult time running their offense without him. Villanova went on an 11-0 run, holding UConn without a field goal for more than 7 minutes in the first half, before a fast-break dunk by Daniels made it 13-8.
Daniels had six of the Huskies first eight points.
Napier came back in midway through the half, helping the Huskies to a 10-2 run that gave them back the lead at 16-14.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from little-used Leon Tolksdorf brought the crowd into the game and stretched the lead to 22-16. Tolksdorf had just 10 points all season coming into the game, six in Big East play.
Arcidiacono kept the Wildcats close. He had 17-first half points, including the team’s final seven of the half. He had five of the team’s nine first-half baskets.
Napier didn’t get his first bucket until after halftime, but had nine assists.
UConn had won five of its last six games, including an emotional 66-58 upset of No. 6 Syracuse, in the final scheduled meeting between the two rivals.
Villanova outrebounded UConn 41-25, including 20-5 on the offensive glass. The Wildcats came in leading the Big East in rebounding, pulling down an average of 39 per game. UConn, which lost 7-foot-1 center Enosch Wolf to an indefinite suspension following a domestic-violence arrest, has nobody on the roster taller than 6-9.
Villanova has been an enigma this season, beating Syracuse and Louisville in the same week, but losing to Providence twice and suffering an 18-point loss to Columbia. They were coming off an 18-point loss to Cincinnati, after wins over DePaul and South Florida, two teams at the bottom of the conference standings.
UConn had won the last four meetings between the schools.
The Huskies fall to 12-2 when leading at the half this season.
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