Dec. 10, 1997

Norman Nolan
Norman Nolan scored 16 points in loss to UConn. (file photo).

Virginia Falls to No. 13 Connecticut

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Richard Hamilton scored 21 of his career-high 33 points in the second half Wednesday night to lead No. 13 Connecticut over Virginia 74-63.

Hamilton was 11-of-18 from the field and 8-of-11 from the free-throw line, and twice had scoring bursts when the Huskies (8-1) began to lose their comfortable lead.

Virginia (4-3) came out cold and never caught up. The Cavaliers had six turnovers and two air balls in the first five minutes and fell behind 12-4 after making only one of their first 14 shots.

The closest Virginia came was 19-18 after a pair of 3-pointers by Curtis Staples. But the Huskies turned their defense up a notch, forcing another four turnovers before the end of the half with traps and an occasional press. Hamilton, meanwhile, scored six points during a 12-1 Connecticut run and the Huskies were ahead 34-23 at halftime. Connecticut extended the lead to 15 with 15:15 to play on a field goal by Antric Klaiber, 44-29.

The Cavaliers came within eight with 6:51 remaining after 7-foot-4 center Chase Metheny dove to get a loose ball, then scored and was fouled for a 3-point play.

But once again Hamilton took over, scoring all of the Huskies' next nine points. On one play, he stood near half court while the shot clock wound down, drove just beyond the free-throw line and hit a jumper.

Norman Nolan had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Virginia, while Staples had 15 points, including four 3-pointers.