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UConn Downs DePaul 97-71 In Big East Opener

Jeremy Lamb #3 of the Connecticut Huskies shoots the ball against the DePaul Blue Demons at Madison Square Garden on March 8, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Jeremy Lamb #3 of the Connecticut Huskies shoots the ball against the DePaul Blue Demons at Madison Square Garden on March 8, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (AP) — Kemba Walker scored 26 points and Connecticut won a Big East tournament game for the first time in six years, beating DePaul 97-71 on Tuesday in the opener of a conference showcase loaded with NCAA contenders.

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Jeremy Lamb, playing on a sore knee, had 17 of his 19 points in the first half for the 21st-ranked Huskies (22-9), who got back on track after losing four of their final five regular-season games. No. 9 seed UConn advanced to play Wednesday against No. 22 Georgetown, the No. 8 seed at Madison Square Garden.

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The Huskies had lost six straight Big East tournament games since beating Georgetown in the 2005 quarterfinals, a surprising streak of futility for a school that has won two national championships and six Big East tourney titles under Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

pixy UConn Downs DePaul 97 71 In Big East Opener