Jan. 3, 2009

STORRS, Conn. (AP) -Hasheem Thabeet led a balanced Connecticut attack with 15 points and eight rebounds, and the second-ranked Huskies snapped back from their first loss of the season with a 80-49 win over Rutgers on Saturday night.

Jerome Dyson added 14 points and Jeff Adrien had 13 for UConn (12-1, 1-1 Big East). Stanley Robinson, making his first start of the year, chipped in 11 points and seven boards.

It was the third consecutive loss to a highly ranked team for Rutgers (9-6, 0-2), which was beaten last Sunday by No. 1 North Carolina and lost on Wednesday to No. 3 Pittsburgh.

Freshman guard Mike Rosario, who had 26 points against the Tar Heels and 22 against Pitt, hit just two of 13 shots from the field and finished with 10 points. Gregory Echenique led the Scarlet Knights with 17.

UConn coach Jim Calhoun missed the second half with an illness, but still moved into a tie with Lefty Driesell for seventh pace on the NCAA career wins list with 786.

Calhoun, who has overcome three bouts with cancer, has missed all or part of 20 games at UConn. The Huskies are 16-4 in those games.

The Scarlet Knights jumped out to a 7-2 lead as UConn hit just one of its first eight shots from the field. But the Huskies used a 10-2 run to get into the game, and closed the half with a 17-7 run to take a 29-18 lead into the break.

The Huskies held Rutgers to just six first-half field goals and 26 percent shooting for the game, eventually outscoring the Scarlet Knights 51-31 in the second half.

UConn used a 12-2 run midway through the half to push the lead to 53-31, and a tomahawk dunk by Dyson made it 57-38 a couple minutes later.

Adrien moved into 23rd place on the school's career scoring list, and his seven rebounds moved him past Jake Voskuhl into eighth place on the school's all-time list.

UConn, which was beaten 74-63 by No. 11 Georgetown on Monday, has started league play 0-2 just once under Calhoun. The Huskies lost games at St. John's and at home to Villanova in the 1989-90 season, a year UConn made it to the NCAA regional finals.

It was the Huskies' eighth consecutive win over Rutgers, and 16th win in the 17 games the teams have played since the Scarlet Knights joined the conference in 1995.