Short-handed UConn holds off Louisville, wins fourth straight

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- A.J. Price scored 20 points and Connecticut held off a late Louisville run to beat the Cardinals 69-67 on Monday.

The win is the fourth in a row for the Huskies (15-5, 5-3) and snaps the Cardinals' three-game winning streak.

Stanley Robinson had 16 points and Jeff Adrien had 12 points and 10 rebounds for UConn.

Juan Palacios, who missed a 3-pointer that would have won the game for the Cardinals, led Louisville (15-6, 5-3) with 16.

The Huskies were playing their second straight game without leading scorer Jerome Dyson and guard Doug Wiggins. The two 20-year-old sophomores were suspended indefinitely from the team Friday, after campus police ticketed them for having alcohol.

With the shortened bench, the Huskies seemed to run low on gas midway through the second half after going up by 10, 58-48. UConn Coach Jim Calhoun said he switched his team to a zone defense to help rest them.

The Cardinals responded with 13-3 run, and after Robinson hit the front rim on a 3-point attempt, Terrence Williams tied the game at 61, hitting a 3 from the right baseline.

An ally-oop dunk from 7-foot-3 Hasheem Thabeet with 2:06 left gave the Huskies a 67-63 lead.

After David Padgett hit a free throw, Craig Austrie was fouled by Preston Knowles and hit both foul shots for UConn.

A 3-pointer by Jerry Smith with 36 seconds left pulled Louisville within two.

The Cardinals then tied up Austrie in the frontcourt with 23 seconds left to give Louisville a final possession, but Palacios' shot from the top of the key missed badly and Thabeet tipped the ball away as time ran out.

Louisville, which has held 11 opponents under 40 percent shooting, kept Connecticut scoreless for more than four minutes to start the game, and was up 10-2 early. But the Huskies responded with an 8-0 run.

The Cardinals shot just under 30 percent from the field in the first half and hit just two of their first 12 shots from 3-point range. They ended the game 11-33 from behind the arc.

Connecticut took only three 3s before intermission, and the two teams went into halftime tied at 30.

In the second half, the Huskies led 41-40, before going on a 17-8 spurt. The run was sparked by a 3-point play on a fast break that saw Thabeet out-jump 6-9 Derrick Caracter and throw the ball in the basket despite a hard foul.