© St. Petersburg Times, published February 23, 2003
STORRS, Conn. -- Jim Calhoun's return to the Connecticut bench 16 days after prostate cancer surgery was successful and dramatic.
Ben Gordon scored 18 and Emeka Okafor had 12 rebounds and nine blocks as the Huskies won 77-69 against St. John's on Saturday.
Calhoun, 60, was expected to miss 3-4 weeks but felt strong enough to come back. He received a huge ovation before the game.
"It was an incredible feeling," he said. "I missed the game. I missed the kids. I missed the camaraderie."
Somewhat subdued, Calhoun watched his team's 18-point second half lead evaporate. Kyle Cuffe scored six during a 10-0 Red Storm run that pulled it to within 60-53.
A 3-pointer by Willie Shaw and two by Marcus Hatten cut the lead to three with 1:09 left. But UConn closed the game with a 5-0 run.
SETON HALL 68, WEST VIRGINIA 64: Freshman Kelly Whitney scored 17 for the visiting Pirates. Down 42-28 in the second half, Tyrone Sally's layup got the Mountaineers to 54-52 with 4:13 left. But Whitney's layup and dunk spaked a 9-0 run that sealed it.
PROVIDENCE 70, VILLANOVA 60: The host Friars broke it open with a 20-7 run during the final 6:40.
SAINT LOUIS 62, DePAUL 61: Marque Perry scored on a driving layup with two seconds left then stole the inbounds pass to give the visiting Billikens the victory.
SOUTHERN MISS 76, TULANE 72: Clement Carter scored 20 and the host Golden Eagles made 7 of 8 free throws during the final 32 seconds to snap a four-game losing streak.
CHARLOTTE 71, EAST CAROLINA 66: Curtis Nash scored 21, 19 in the second half, for the visiting 49ers. Charlotte led 30-28 at halftime before going on a 14-6 run early in the second.
UAB 80, HOUSTON 52: Morris Finley made 7 of 10 3-pointers for the host Blazers. Up 30-22 at halftime, UAB began the second half with an 8-0 run.
ALABAMA 76, TENNESSEE 71: Erwin Dudley scored 18 and Mo Williams 17 for the visiting Crimson Tide. Alabama led by 18 early in the second half, but C.J. Watson's 3-pointer with 13.8 seconds left made it 73-71. Alabama then made three free throws to seal it.
AUBURN 80, MISSISSIPPI 75: Marquis Daniels scored 29 on 12-of-14 shooting and the visiting Tigers shot 65 percent. Auburn's 59-48 lead evaporated as the Rebels made 10 of 21 3-pointers, including Aaron Harper's that tied it at 75 with 1:25 left. But Marco Killingsworth's dunk gave Auburn the lead.
LSU 75, ARKANSAS 56: Ronald Dupree had 25 points and 13 rebounds for the host Tigers. LSU opened with an 11-0 run and led by as many as 30.
COLORADO 89, MISSOURI 68: Blair Wilson made six 3-pointers and scored 26 for the host Buffaloes. Down 12, the Tigers cut it to 50-48. But Colorado went on a 13-4 run and pushed the lead to 71-58 with 5:43 left.
TEXAS TECH 70, TEXAS A&M 69: Andre Emmett, coming back from a one-game suspension, scored 26 and Will Chavis made a free throw with 4.9 seconds left for the host Red Raiders.
IOWA ST. 64, KANSAS ST. 61: Jake Sullivan scored 25 for the host Cyclones, who rallied from a 37-21 deficit.
BAYLOR 78, NEBRASKA 64: Lawrence Roberts had 22 points and 14 rebounds for the host Bears.
WISCONSIN 61, IOWA 53: Mike Wilkinson scored a career-high 20 for the visiting Badgers. He put Wisconsin up for good 42-38 with eight in 54 seconds, including two 3-pointers.
WASHINGTON 78, OREGON 66: The host Huskies ended a five-game losing streak. Luke Ridnour's conference record streak of 62 consecutive free throws made ended when he missed the first of two with 1:31 left.
GEORGETOWN 74, MIAMI 72: Mike Sweetney scored 24 and Gerald Riley 19 for the visiting Hoyas. Down 73-72 with 27 seconds left, Miami's Eric Wilkins stole the ball but turned it right back over. Georgetown's Brandon Bowman a free throw with 5.4 seconds left, and Armondo Surratt missed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.