Thabeet's 11th double-double keeps top-ranked Huskies rolling

STORRS, Conn. -- Connecticut played an unfamiliar foe Saturday that confused the Huskies on defense and had the shooters to stick with them on offense.

But Michigan didn't have Hasheem Thabeet, who scored 17 points and pulled down 12 rebounds as the top-ranked Huskies held off the Wolverines 69-61 for their 11th straight win.

It was the 11th double-double this season for the 7-foot-3 junior, who also had six blocks.

"The victory was so glorious for us today," Thabeet said. "We played great and we kind of now know what to expect during the NCAA tournament, and we're happy with this."

Jerome Dyson led UConn (22-1) with 19 points and Jeff Adrien had nine points and 14 rebounds. Adrien's final rebound, on the last shot of the game, gave him 1,000 for his career, just the fifth player in school history to score 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds.

"To be mentioned in the same sentence with someone like Emeka Okafor, to achieve something that Emeka Okafor did, it's great," Adrien said. "I've come from a player who couldn't play at high Division I, and now I'm here. It's an honor."

Stu Douglas hit six 3-pointers and scored 20 points to lead Michigan (15-9), which was coming off a 71-51 victory Thursday over Penn State. Manny Harris added 15 for the Wolverines, who were hoping to improve on a season that already includes wins over UCLA and Duke.

"We feel like we let one get away," Harris said. "We could have beat the number-one team in the nation. We try not to look at the NCAA like that, but that would definitely have built our resume."

Connecticut, playing its first week as the No. 1 team since 2005-06, hasn't lost since dropping a 74-63 decision to Georgetown in the Big East opener on Dec. 29.

UConn opened the game on an 8-1 run, punctuated by an alley-oop from A.J. Price to Stanley Robinson. But the Wolverines fought back using several back-door cuts to beat UConn's half-court trap and full-court press.

The Wolverines switched from their normal 1-3-1 zone to a 2-3 and forced 10 first-half turnovers from the Huskies. Michigan went on a 9-0 run that turned a 21-20 deficit into a 29-21 lead.

The Huskies closed the half on a 12-5 run to cut the Michigan lead to 34-33. It was just the fifth time UConn has trailed at halftime this season.

The Huskies trailed 43-39 before scoring the next nine points to take the lead for good.

Michigan never made it easy, though, holding UConn without a field goal for over four minutes late in the game. A layup by Dyson ended the drought and made it 61-53 with 2 minutes left.

Douglas hit two 3 pointers down the stretch, but UConn was able to answer from the free-throw line and hold on for the win.

"I think we as a team over the last 10 to 12 minutes of the game played about as gutty as you're going to need to play to win any basketball game," said Huskies coach Jim Calhoun.

The Huskies came in 11-0 against non-conference opponents, and have won 14 consecutive home games against opponents outside the Big East since a 77-73 loss to Indiana on Jan. 20, 2007.

Michigan has lost six of its last eight and heads home to face Michigan State (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today, No. 13 AP) on Tuesday.

Calhoun is 5-1 against Beilein, who lost three times to the Huskies while he was with West Virginia, and once while at Richmond.

This was just the second meeting between the two schools, with Michigan winning the other 62-45 in 1939. The two schools will play again in the 2010-11 season in Ann Arbor.