Number 800 For Calhoun

Jim Calhoun's 800th career victory came thanks in large part to senior guard A.J. Price, who scored a career-high 36 points as No. 2 Connecticut beat No. 8 Marquette 93-82 on Wednesday night.

Calhoun became only the seventh coach in Division I history to win 800 or more games. Stanley Robinson added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Huskies (26-2, 14-2 Big East), who had a pronounced size advantage going into the game but ended up getting the best of Marquette on the perimeter, too.

Jerel McNeal scored 26 points for the Golden Eagles (23-5, 12-3), who played most of the game without guard Dominic James who broke a bone in his left foot in the first half.

James played only 4 minutes, and the school announced after halftime that he broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. No timeline was given for his return. James, one of the Golden Eagles' trio of standout senior guards, has 1,749 points and is considered one of the Big East's top defensive players.

Maurice Acker picked up the majority of James' minutes running the offense, and the Golden Eagles kept rallying after Connecticut squandered several chances to run away.

After yet another Marquette rally, Price finally clinched the game by hitting a 3-pointer to put the Huskies ahead by eight points with 1:10 left in the game.

Trailing by 11 early in the second half after Price hit two 3-pointers and a jumper on three straight possessions, Marquette went on a 12-0 run that included two 3-pointers by Acker to take a 1-point lead with 12:07 remaining.

But Connecticut regained control with an 11-0 run that included three three-point plays -- one by Kemba Walker and two by Robinson on consecutive possessions that put the Huskies up 82-74 with 4:28 remaining.

Marquette rallied again to cut the lead to three on a pull-up jumper by McNeal with 2:28 left. And the Golden Eagles appeared to come up with a defensive stop when Price missed a driving layup, but McNeal was called for a loose ball foul and Jeff Adrien hit two free throws to extend the lead to five.

Price hit the clinching 3-pointer from the left wing with 1:10 remaining, then added two free throws to put Connecticut ahead 91-81 with 45.5 seconds left.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Huskies didn't do much to involve 7-foot-3 Hasheem Thabeet on offense very much in the first half, despite having a significant size advantage over Marquette's tallest starter, 6-8 Dwight Burke. But Thabeet scored nine of his 14 points in the second half and finished with 15 rebounds.

Thabeet remained a force on defense throughout the game, blocking five shots and altering just about anything Marquette did in the paint.

Marquette's student section didn't let Calhoun forget about his recent dustup with a freelance journalist, frequently chanting "not one dime" -- part of Calhoun's terse response to a question about giving back part of his salary -- and holding up signs with Calhoun's head on a coin.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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