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    Napier Leads UConn Past South Florida in OT, 69-64

    UCONNHUSKIESDOTCOM Ryan Boatright had 17 points in the win for the Huskies.
    UCONNHUSKIESDOTCOM
    Ryan Boatright had 17 points in the win for the Huskies.
    UCONNHUSKIESDOTCOM

    Feb. 3, 2013

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    STORRS, Conn. -- Junior Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) scored 24 points and hit three thre-pointers in overtime to lead the University of Connecticut men's basketball team to a 69-64 win Sunday over South Florida before a crowd of 9,205 at Gampel Pavilion.

    UConn won its second BIG EAST overtime game in four days as it topped Providence on Thursday night by an 82-79 score. UConn is 15-5 overall and 5-3 in the BIG EAST while the Bulls fall to 10-11 overall and 1-8 in the league.

    Sophomore Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) added 17 points for the Huskies, who overcame a 12-point halftime deficit to win their third consecutive game.

    Toarlyn Fitzpatrick scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for South Florida, which dropped its fourth straight.

    South Florida held the Huskies to just five first-half field goals and led 27-15 at the half. The then Huskies matched their first-half output 3 1/2 minutes into the second half, going on a 15-2 run after intermission to take the lead.

    Napier missed a long three-pointer that would have won the game in regulation, but responded with two straight to open the extra period.

    Connecticut, which shot just under 30 percent from the floor for the game, hit just five of its 27 shots in the first half.

    The Huskies also scored 10 straight points to open the second half and a three-pointer from Boatright gave them a 30-29 with 16:49 left. It was the Huskies' first lead since the game was less than three minutes old.

    South Florida didn't let UConn separate as Fitzpatrick's fourth three-pointer put the Bulls back in front at 39-36 and his spinning layup led to a conventional three-point play that put USF ahead 48-47.

    Connecticut regained the lead, 51-50, on two Napier foul shots and Boatright hit one of two to give the Huskies a 52-50 lead with 26 seconds left.

    Anthony Collins hit a driving layup with 11.6 seconds left to tie the game, setting up a final play for UConn. Napier got a good, straight-on look from about 23 feet but missed, sending the game into overtime.

    South Florida missed its first three shots in overtime before a dunk by Victor Rudd made it 58-54 for the Huskies. Napier, who scored 11 in the extra frame, responded with his third straight three-pointer, and South Florida was forced to foul.

    Boatright, who hit just three of 11 shots from the floor, hit two foul shots to give the Huskies a 63-56 lead. Junior Niels Giffey (Berlin, Gemany) hit three and Napier's pair with 18 seconds left made it 68-61. A three-pointer from Fitzpatrick made it 68-64 as hee had five for the game and was eight of 17 from the floor.

     

    UConn didn't have a rebound until the game was almost four minutes old.  The two teams combined to miss 12 of the first 17 shots from the field and the game was tied at seven at the media timeout with just under 12 minutes left in the half.

    Fitzpatrick, hit four of his first six shots, including three from three-point range. He led the Bulls on a 13-3 run that broke a 10-10 tie. South Florida outrebounded UConn 43-41 and forced 10 Huskies turnovers, but the Bulls had 14 of their own, including nine in the second half and overtime.

    UConn returns to action on Wednesday when it takes on St. John's at Madison Square Garden at 7:00 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPNU and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.


     

     

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