Hartford, CT (Sports Network) - Kemba Walker scored 21 points and Stanley Robinson chipped in 15 points and 13 rebounds, as Connecticut picked up a much-needed 73-62 victory over No. 8 West Virginia in another Big East showdown.
Off the heels of a 1-4 stretch, the Huskies' precarious NCAA Tournament resume has improved over the past week with back-to-back road wins against then third-ranked Villanova last Monday and a convincing decision at Rutgers on Saturday.
Monday's triumph breaks UConn (17-11, 7-8 Big East) apart from a five-way tie for eighth in the conference, while West Virginia sits alone in fourth (21-6, 10-5), only a half-game ahead of Louisville.
Jerome Dyson netted 17 points for the Huskies, whose 30-of-42 effort at the foul line was significantly better than West Virginia's 12-of-23 showing at the stripe.
West Virginia was led by Devin Ebanks' 17 points and nine rebounds, while leading scorer Da'Sean Butler scored nine on 2-of-10 shooting.
The Mountaineers slowly chipped away at their nine-point halftime deficit, finally pulling to within 53-52 on Ebanks' putback of his own miss with just under nine minutes to play in regulation.
That was as close as the visitors got.
Robinson pulled down an impressive offensive rebound the next time down before banking in a layup. The athletic forward later hit a three-pointer to extend the lead to 61-56 with 6:14 remaining, and Walker added two free throws for a seven-point contest.
It was 66-62 after Kevin Jones cleaned up a Butler miss with 1 1/2 minutes left, but the high-flying Robinson soared for a putback slam to make it a six- point game again.
Walker's steal and thunderous dunk on the next possession sealed UConn's first three-game winning streak since December 20-27 earlier this season.
West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins was ejected following an altercation with officials after the dunk.
In the opening minute of the game, UConn head coach Jim Calhoun was similarly hit with a technical after Wellington Smith got away with a shove under his own basket, leading to a Darryl Bryant three-pointer for a 5-0 WVU lead.
Butler missed the ensuing free throws, and the Huskies responded to Calhoun's fiery rant, scoring 14 of the next 15 points to take control.
Walker made a three, two free throws and capped the surge with a jumper for a 14-6 lead five minutes in. Between the 12- and eight-minute marks, UConn scored 13 straight, as a Robinson bucket resulted in a 28-13 cushion.
The Mountaineers had the lead down to five, 29-24, after a Jones tip-in with under five minutes left in the half, but UConn managed to build the differential to 37-28 at the break.
West Virginia, which had won two straight coming into the game, hosts Cincinnati on Saturday, while UConn stays home for a battle vs. Louisville on Sunday...The Huskies' Gavin Edwards ended with 11 points and six rebounds before fouling out with 4:09 remaining in the game...Jones scored 12 points...UConn tallied 26 points off 13 Mountaineer turnovers.