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February 26, 2008
Stanley Robinson, who had 13 rebounds, and Craig Austrie both added 18 points for Connecticut (22-6, 11-4), which moved one game ahead of Marquette in fourth place in the Big East Conference, the last spot that secures a first-round bye in the league's tournament.
Freshman Earl Pettis had a season-high 18 points for the Scarlet Knights (10-19, 2-14), who lost their eighth straight game. The last three losses were to ranked teams: Notre Dame, Marquette and Connecticut.
Adrien's double-double was his 15th of the season and the 31st of his career, the most of any active player in the Big East.
Rutgers, behind 11 points from Pettis - one better than his previous season high for a game - was within 43-37 at halftime, shooting 48.4 percent from the field (15-for-31), an impressive stat against Connecticut, which entered the game third in the conference in field goal percentage defense (38 percent).
The Scarlet Knights opened the second half on an 8-4 run with Anthony Farmer's 3-pointer with 17:12 to play bringing them within 47-45.
Then came the Huskies' run it seemed everyone in the building was waiting for.
Connecticut scored the next 11 points, the last a baseline jumper by Adrien that made it 58-45 with 13:02 left. During the run, Rutgers missed six shots and turned the ball over once. All of a sudden the Huskies were contesting every shot and it worked to get them some breathing room.
The Scarlet Knights shot 35.7 percent in the second half (10-for-28) and were able to stay reasonably close by going 4-for-8 from 3-point range in each half, led by Farmer's 3-for-4.
Hasheem Thabeet had 10 rebounds and six of Connecticut's 11 blocked shots. Reserve Jonathan Mandelove had four blocks for the Huskies, who lead the nation in blocked shots at 8.8 per game.
Connecticut sophomore guard Jerome Dyson returned after a nine-game suspension for violating team rules. Dyson, who averages 14.3 points per game, had three points and five assists.