Feb. 10, 2013
NEWARK, N.J. - Junior guard Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) had 22 points, nine assists and six steals and led a second-half comeback that carried the Univeristy of Connecticut men's basketball team to a 78-67 victory over Seton Hall on Sunday before a crowd of 7,634 at the Prudential Center. The win improves UConn's record to 16-6 overall and 6-4 in the BIG EAST as the Huskiee are ensured of a winning record in head coach Kevin Ollie's first season. Seton Hall falls 13-11 and 2-9 in the league.
Sophomore gaurd Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) added 20 points and freshman Omar Calhoun (Queens, N.Y.)had 10 points as the Huskies rallied from a seven-point deficit and handed Seton Hall its fifth straight loss and ninth in 10 games.
Aaron Cosby had a career-high 25 points to lead Seton Hall, while Fuquan Edwin, playing with a sprained ankle, added 19 points.
Napier scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half and finished eight of 12 from the field while playing 39 minutes. He hit a free throw, a fast-break layup and a three-pointer in a 9-0 run that gave Connecticut the lead for good.
The Huskies got sloppy in the final eight minutes of the first half and blew a 13-point lead. Seton Hall led by one at the half and pushed the margin to 43-36 early in the second half as Cosby and Edwin hit 3-pointers to ignite an 8-0 spurt.
Reserve graduate student R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) came off the bench and scored four points and junior center Tyler Olander (Mansfield, Conn.) scored off an assist from Napier to cut the deficit to 43-42.
After Seton Hall pushed the lead back to 46-42, Napier, who didn't make his first basket until late in the first half, took over. He scored six in the nine-point run with junior Niels Giffey (Berlin, Germany) adding a three-point play.
Seton Hall stayed within striking distance the rest of the way, but Boatright put the game out of reach with a long three-pointer and a dunk off a fast-break setup by Napier, who had a steal with about four minutes to play.
Connecticut used an early 11-0 run that featured a four-point play by Boatwright in taking a 13-5 lead, and it upped the margin to 25-12 with a 7-0 run that included four points by sophomore DeAndre Daniels (Los Angeles, Calif.).
Seton Hall suddenly picked up its defense and got 10 straight points from Edwin in a 16-0 run that gave the Pirates a 28-25 lead. Connecticut got within a point three times in the half but didn't regain the lead until Napier scored in the lane on the first possession of the second half.
The Huskies return to action on Wednesday when they play host to Syracuse at 7:00 p.m. at the XL Center. The game will be televised on ESPN and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.