Gorgui Dieng returned from a sprained right ankle to score 15 points and freshman Chane Behanan added 12 rebounds as No. 24 Louisville beat defending national champion Connecticut, 80-59, last night, the host Cardinals’ fifth straight win.
Freshman Ryan Boatright had 18 points to lead the Huskies (15-8, 5-6), who have lost five of their last six. UConn freshman Andre Drummond went scoreless, missing all six shots, and Jeremy Lamb finished with 7 points, well short of his average of 17.6.
UConn coach Jim Calhoun missed his second game on an indefinite medical leave of absence after he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis.
Louisville (19-5, 7-4) is quickly ascending the Big East standings after a rough start. While most of the 31 credential NBA personnel were scouting the Huskies, it was the Cardinals who outworked them all evening.
Dieng was questionable after Saturday’s injury in a win over Rutgers, but he clogged the lane and kept Drummond in check.
Everyone contributed as Louisville looked similar to the team ranked fourth in the nation at 12-0 and nothing like the one that dropped five of seven to tumble out of the poll three weeks ago.
Chris Smith scored 16 points, Kyle Kuric added 10, and Peyton Siva had nine assists while Behanan again made a mark coming off a 23-point, 11-rebound performance in a win over the Scarlet Knights.
Dieng had some early problems with his ankle, but was a key contributor in the Cardinals’ decisive 21-4 run that gave them a 65-36 lead with 6:18 left.
Siva’s 3-pointer made it 49-32 with just more than 9 1/2 minutes to play as the Huskies called a timeout. It didn’t help.
BU 81, Albany 78 - Senior Darryl Partin scored 25 of his career-high 33 points in the second half to help the visiting Terriers (13-13, 9-3) overcome a 16-point deficit and earn an America East victory over the Great Danes.
The win pushed the Terriers into third place in America East.
Vermont 73, Maine 63 - Matt Glass had 17 points and Luke Apfeld scored all 13 of his in the second half as the visiting Catamounts (16-10, 10-2 America East) extended their winning streak to seven with the victory over the Black Bears (11-11, 5-6).
Brendan Bald scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half to help Vermont lead, 37-25, at the break.
Gerald McLemore scored 20 points to lead Maine.
Stony Brook 57, UNH 48 - Tommy Brenton scored 14 points and Bryan Dougher added 10 for the Seawolves (16-7, 11-1 America East), who held off the host Wildcats (8-14, 3-9) to claim their seventh straight win.
Missouri 71, Oklahoma 68 - Marcus Denmon scored 25 points, Ricardo Ratliffe added 15 points and 10 rebounds, and the No. 4 Tigers (22-2, 9-2) claimed first place in the Big 12 by edging the host Sooners (13-10, 3-8).
Marquette 89, DePaul 76 - Darius Johnson-Odom scored 23 points and Jamil Wilson added 18 points and nine rebounds to lead the No. 18 Golden Eagles (20-5, 9-3 Big East) past the host Blue Demons (11-12, 2-9).
Baylor 81, Oklahoma 54 - Brittney Griner had 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 blocked shots to help the top-ranked Lady Bears (24-0, 11-0 Big 12) beat the visiting Sooners (15-7, 7-4).
Duke 96, North Carolina 56 - Tricia Liston scored 16 of her 23 points during a decisive 39-12 first-half run as the No. 5 Blue Devils (19-3, 10-0 ACC) routed the No. 22 Tar Heels (17-6, 7-3) in Durham, N.C.
Maryland 64, Georgia Tech 56 - Alyssa Thomas scored 23 points and had 12 rebounds, and the visiting No. 8 Terrapins (20-3, 7-3 ACC) beat the No. 22 Yellow Jackets (17-7, 7-4).
Ohio St. 72, Wisconsin 58 - Samantha Prahalis scored 34 points and the No. 10 Buckeyes (21-2, 8-2) claimed their 20th consecutive victory over the visiting Badgers (8-15, 4-7).