HARTFORD, CONN., DEC. 6 -- The game between Virginia and Connecticut today never developed into the big showdown that was billed between the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big East.

The Cavaliers scored 17 straight points during a 7-minute 15-second stretch and John Johnson scored 15 of his game-high 22 points, and Richard Morgan 15 of his 17, as Virginia took a 46-20 halftime lead and never looked back.

It was a 72-59 blowout for Virginia (3-1) rather than a close confrontation. The loss was the first for the Huskies after two victories.

"Johnson played like a prototype point guard," said Connecticut Coach Jim Calhoun. "I thought he really ran the game. If you ask me the key, it was Johnson, Johnson, and Johnson."

The victory gave the ACC a 2-0 lead in this year's rivalry between the conferences. North Carolina beat Syracuse in the Tip-Off Classic to open the season.

It was important to get a road victory," said Virginia Coach Terry Holland, "particularly as young as we are. We average around 13 home games a year, so we'd better play well on the road."

Connecticut, which never made a serious run, got 14 points from Jeff King and 10 from Phil Gamble.VIRGINIA Min FG FT R A PF T Batts 31 5-7 1-2 3 1 3 11 Morgan 28 7-12 0-0 2 1 0 17 Bair 24 1-2 0-0

Halftime: Virginia, 46-20.

Three-point goals -- Virginia 4-10 (Morgan 3-5, Crotty 1-4, Johnson 0-1); Connecticut 2-6: (Economou 0-1, G

A -- 10,087.