UConn beats Memphis 86-81 in overtime

Print
Email
|

Associated Press

Posted on February 15, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Updated Saturday, Feb 15 at 3:32 PM

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Shabazz Napier scored a career-high 34 points and No. 24 UConn beat No. 20 Memphis 86-81 in overtime Saturday to sweep the season series from the Tigers.

Ryan Boatright added 21 points for UConn (20-5, 8-4 American Athletic Conference), including eight in overtime. He also had six assists.

Joe Jackson had 24 points to lead the Tigers (19-6, 8-4). Geron Johnson added 15 points and eight rebounds before fouling out and Chris Crawford chipped in with 12.

The game was tied at 69 at the end of regulation and UConn opened the extra period on a 7-2 run. But Memphis cut it to 76-74 after a Michael Dixon hit a 3-pointer.

Napier responded with one of his five 3-pointers and the Huskies held on.

The UConn senior had a shot to win the game in regulation, but his fall-away 3-pointer rolled around the rim and out.

The Huskies shot just 39 percent from the floor, but made 29 of 36 free throws. Memphis, which shot 55 percent, had just nine foul shots, making six of them.

Johnson fouled out on the first possession in overtime.

Trailing 69-66 with less than a minute to go in regulation, Napier drove the lane, drawing Johnson's fourth foul and completing the 3-point play to tie the game. DeAndre Daniels then blocked a layup attempt by Shaq Goodwin on the other end. The two teams scrambled for the loose ball, and the referees gave UConn the ball after reviewing the play on video.

It was one of two key blocks for Daniels, who finished with eight points. The other came in overtime with the Huskies up by one point, and led to a 3-pointer on the other end by Boatright.

Napier was 10 of 21 shooting for the game and hit 5 of 12 attempts from behind the arc.

Memphis led 46-43 early in the second half before Napier decided to take charge of the Huskies offense. He scored 14 of UConn's next 17 points and his 3-pointer gave UConn a 58-51 lead.

The Tigers scratched back. They trailed 66-61 with 6 minutes left, but took a 67-66 lead on a Jackson layup and extended it to three points when Jackson found David Pellom for a dunk.

It was a game of big runs in the first half.

Memphis jumped out to an early 8-2 lead, getting two quick 3-pointers from Crawford and Johnson.

The Tigers led 12-5 before UConn went on an 18-2 run, holding Memphis without a field goal for almost 5 minutes. Napier had eight points during the run, including a pair of 3-pointers.

But the Tigers then scored the next 11 points to take a 25-23 lead.

A dunk from Austin Nichols sending Memphis into halftime trailing 36-35.

Boatright's first point of the game, a free throw, gave him 1,000 for his career. He's the 48th UConn player to reach that mark.

UConn moved into a tie with Memphis, a half-game behind SMU for third place in the conference.

Memphis has six more games this season, with three more on the road and two against other teams that have already beaten the Tigers this year — Cincinnati and SMU.

The Huskies won the first meeting on Jan. 16 by 10 points, hitting their final seven shots from the floor.

Memphis outrebounded the Huskies on Saturday 38-28.

UConn has won nine of its past 11 games, while the Tigers fell for just the third time in their past 11.

Any rematch would come in the American tournament in March on the Tigers' home floor.

Print
Email
|