UCONN Hits The Road

Although Connecticut's 10-game winning streak is over, it will be getting a key player back when it returns to action Tuesday night.

Suspended guard Jerome Dyson will likely see action for the first time in over a month for the 15th-ranked Huskies when they visit Rutgers, the worst team in the Big East.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Connecticut –9.5 point spread favorites (View College Basketball odds) for today’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 82% of bets for this game have been placed on Connecticut –9.5 (View College Basketball bet percentages).

Dyson started the first 18 games for Connecticut (21-6, 10-4) and averaged 14.3 points, third-best on the team. He was reinstated and returned to practice Sunday after being suspended for nine games for failing a drug test.

Craig Austrie has started in Dyson's place over the last nine games and will likely keep his place in the lineup for now.

"We'll see where he fits in," said Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun about Dyson. "I fully expect I would start the same team. There's no reason why I wouldn't start the same team at Rutgers that we have right now."

The Huskies had their 10-game run snapped with a 67-65 loss at Villanova on Saturday. They trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half before taking their only lead of the game on a basket by Jeff Adrien with 7:42 to go, but succumbed down the stretch.

UConn survived many close calls during the run, winning six times by five points or less.

"We've had some narrow escapes," Calhoun said. "Today, we didn't escape."

A.J. Price led the Huskies with 16 points, but made just 6 of 22 shots. Adrien scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half and also grabbed 10 rebounds for his 14th double-double, one shy of his total from last season.

While Dyson will return, UConn will be without sophomore forward Curtis Kelly, who is expected to be out up to three weeks after dislocating his left elbow in the first half of Saturday's game.

The Huskies have won 14 of 15 meetings with the Scarlet Knights (10-18, 2-13) since Rutgers joined the Big East in 1995-96. Rutgers has lost seven straight - its longest skid since 2000-01 - after falling 78-48 at then-No. 25 Marquette on Saturday.

After shooting 52 percent in the first half, Rutgers shot just under 28 percent after the break in its second-worst loss of the season.

"It was sort of a fool's gold in the first half when we hit some shots," Rutgers coach Fred Hill said. "We are not a jump-shooting team. We are much better when we are getting to the rim."

The Scarlet Knights are the worst 3-point shooting team in the conference at 31.0 percent and went 5-of-20 on Saturday. But the reliance on the outside shot led to only two foul shots for Rutgers for the game.

"I don't think I've ever been involved in a game where we only shot two free throws," Hill said. "We settled for too many jump shots."

The Huskies have won the last six meetings with the Scarlet Knights, including both last season. Adrien averaged 16.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in the two wins while Hasheem Thabeet, who is second in the nation with 118 blocks, had a total of nine.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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