- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 31, 2009

CINCINNATI 71, No. 10 UCONN 69: Freshman Lance Stephenson was fouled with less than a second left and made both free throws Wednesday night, rallying the host Bearcats (9-3) to a breakthrough victory over the Huskies (9-3) in a wild Big East opener for both teams.

Cincinnati had lost all five previous games against UConn. The Bearcats led by 11 points before the Huskies made a late run, tying it on Kemba Walker’s 3-pointer with 9.4 seconds to go.

Stephenson dribbled into the lane and was fouled by Gavin Edwards as the buzzer sounded. After a review, the officials put seventh-tenths of a second on the clock, Stephenson went to the line and made both, finishing with 21 points.

Jerome Dyson scored 24 points, and Stanley Robinson added 22 as UConn lost its scoring balance during its first true road game of the season.

No. 9 NORTH CAROLINA 87, ALBANY 70: Ed Davis had 18 points to help the Tar Heels (11-3) beat the Great Danes (4-10) in Chapel Hill.

Deon Thompson added 15 points for the Tar Heels, who had an easy time in their next-to-last game before ACC play. Despite being short-handed, North Carolina built a double-digit lead midway through the first half and coasted the rest of the way for its third straight win since losing to No. 2 Texas.

The Tar Heels played without fifth-year senior Marcus Ginyard and sophomore Justin Watts. Watts injured his right ankle during Monday’s win against Rutgers; Ginyard has missed two straight since spraining his right ankle in practice.

Will Harris scored 22 points to lead the Great Danes, who ended an eight-game road trip with just one victory. Albany hasn’t played at home since beating Robert Morris on Nov. 22.

No. 11 MICHIGAN ST. 87, TEXAS-ARLINGTON 68: Durrell Summers and Draymond Green combined for 39 points to lead the Spartans (10-3) to a victory over the Mavericks (5-5) in East Lansing, Mich.

Summers had 20 points, 13 in the first half, for Michigan State. Green added 19 in a balanced attack in its final nonconference game.

But coach Tom Izzo had to be happiest with the play of reigning Big Ten Player of the Year Kalin Lucas, who responded to a benching with 16 points. Lucas was held out of practice Tuesday to spend some time thinking about his leadership role. He did that and played 29 minutes, as many as any Spartans player.

Marquez Haynes, the nation’s No. 2 scorer, led Texas-Arlington with 20 points, 5.2 under his average.

No. 18 TEMPLE 70, N. ILLINOIS 60: Juan Fernandez scored 26 points, and Ryan Brooks added 19 for the Owls (11-2), who tuned up for a weekend game with No. 1 Kansas with a victory over the Huskies (2-8) in DeKalb, Ill.

Temple never trailed in the first meeting between the programs. But Northern Illinois made it competitive as it cut an 18-point first-half deficit to 35-33 early in the second half.

But Temple reasserted control by the midpoint of the second half with a 12-2 run that restored a double-digit lead at 47-35. Northern Illinois never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.

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