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No. 13 UConn 88, West Virginia 75

December 4, 1997

STORRS, Conn. (AP) _ Freshman Khalid El-Amin scored 29 points Wednesday night and No. 13 Connecticut pulled away in the second half for an 88-75 victory over West Virginia in the Big East opener for both teams.

Leading by four points at halftime, the Huskies (6-1) repeatedly broke the Mountaineers’ full-court pressure and built a 12-point lead behind El-Amin’s shooting midway through the period.

West Virginia closed within two points with 7:24 left, but the Huskies then went on a 10-0 run.

Kevin Freeman had 20 points and nine rebounds for Connecticut, while Richard Hamilton added 17 points, all in the first half, and Monquencio Hardnett had 10.

El-Amin, who had 29 points in UConn’s NIT consolation victory over Arizona State last week, was 12-of-18 from the field, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range.

UConn shot 59.3 percent (35-of-59) while holding the Mountaineers (5-1) to 38.7 percent shooting.

Coming into the game, West Virginia was averaging 97 points on 64.5 percent shooting. The Huskies held Damian Owens, West Virginia’s high scorer, to 12 points, 10 below his average.

Adrian Pledger led West Virginia with 15 points, while Marcus Goree had 14 and Brian Lewin and Jarrod West 10 each.

West Virginia outrebounded the Huskies 26-12 in the first half, but UConn rallied on the boards and the Mountaineers finished with a 41-32 advantage.

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