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Queens’ Brown happy with Garden win despite injury

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Taliek Brown’s wrist was nowhere near where it needed to be for the Lefrak City native to be a factor when his University of Connecticut Huskies rolled into Madison Square Garden to take on the St. John’s Red Storm.

But the 6-foot-1 junior guard suited up anyway, starting before his hometown crowd and seeing limited action in his team’s hard-fought 74-68 win Monday night.

“I got no right but just to be happy because we won,” said Brown, a St. John’s Prep product. “It’s been a real hard week for me by getting injured, not playing and getting in foul trouble, but as long as we win that’s what really matters.”

Brown’s injured right wrist, which was wrapped in ice after the game, also hampered him Saturday in his team’s 74-65 win over Villanova, the first game of the season in which he failed to score. Heading into Monday’s game Brown was fifth on the Huskies in scoring, averaging 7.9 points per game. He leads UConn with 6.4 assists per game.

His high game of the season to this point is a 16-point performance against Quinnipiac. He has also dished out 10 assists twice.

Brown, who led St. John’s Prep to the CHSAA ‘B’ league championship during his senior year at the Astoria school, has been the starting point guard for the Huskies since he arrived at the Storrs, Conn. campus three years ago.

Coming out of high school, Brown was one of three premier New York City guards who played in the CHSAA, along with Omar Cook and Andre Barrett. All three went on to Big East schools, Cook to St. John’s and Barrett to Seton Hall.

Heading into the St. John’s game, UConn coach Jim Calhoun said he was worried that the Red Storm’s pressure defense might affect the Huskies’ offense with a banged up Brown.

“My fear before the game [was] that they use very good pressure and the fact that Taliek’s wrist — if it wasn’t Madison Square Garden — didn’t really get significantly better. He tried this morning. He couldn’t shoot. He made two foul shots, but he willed those in. That’s Taliek Brown.”

Brown, who picked up his second foul at 17:44 of the first half, was limited to just six minutes against St. John’s, but still finished with 4 points and 2 assists. All of his points came in the final two minutes of regulation.

Backcourt mate Ben Gordon ended up running the point for much of the game. Gordon finished with 23 points and 6 assists.

“I think Ben’s really stepping up in my absence and he’s doing really well,” Brown said. “I just hope he keeps it up and we keep winning.”

Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 1-718-229-0300, Ext. 130.

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