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UConn Falls Short to Arizona State in 1st round, 68-61

Rodney Purvis
March 18, 2015

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STORRS, Conn. (AP) - University of Connecticut redshirt sophomore guard Rodney Purvis (Raleigh, N.C.) tallied 19 points in a losing effort for UConn, which fell to Arizona State, 68-61, in Storrs in the opening round of the 2015 National Invitation Tournament. The Huskies ended the season at 20-15 overall with the loss.

Forward Shaq McKissic led all scorers with 22 points for ASU, which will now face No. 1 seed Richmond in the next round of the NIT. Savon Goodman added 14 for the Sun Devils (18-15).

UConn senior guardRyan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.), a unanimous first-team All-American Athletic Conference missed the first game of his four-year career due to a left shoulder injury. Boatright, UConn's leading scorer at 17.4 points per game, was injured in the American Athletic Championship on Sunday against SMU.

Purvis finished the game 3-9 from the 3-point line, as he recorded at least three 3-pointers for the fourth time in the final five games. The UConn guard averaged a team-best 17.8 points in the postseason. Sophomore guard Terrence Samuel (Brooklyn, N.Y.) chipped in 10 points, finishing in double-figures for the third time this season, while freshman guard Daniel Hamilton (Los Angeles, Calif.) scored 16 points.

Arizona State outscored the Huskies 20-7 over the final nine minutes of the first half and led 37-24 at halftime. The Sun Devils increased their lead to 16 in the first two minutes of the second half, and were up 48-34 before the Huskies went on a 25-11 run to tie the game at 59 on junior guard Omar Calhoun's (Brooklyn, N.Y.)3-pointer from the left corner with 2:42 left.

A 3-pointer by McKissic with 2:10 left put Arizona State up for good. The loss gave UConn a final home record of 11-5 this season. Four of those losses came at Gampel Pavilion.

Arizona State: The Sun Devils had runs of 10-2 and 10-0 in the first half. Their 51.9 shooting percentage was the highest for a Connecticut opponent this season.

UConn: Forward Kentan Facey (concussion) returned to action for the Huskies. Facey missed all four games in the American tournament after being injured in practice.