Dec. 18, 2013
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Stanford limited the University of Connecticut men's basketball team to 13 second-half points on Wednesday night to lead the Cardinal to a 53-51 come-from-behind win over the Huskies before a crowd of 11,140 at the XL Center. UConn, which entered the game ranked No. 10 in the country suffered its first loss of the season and is now 9-1 while Stanford is 802.
Stanford guard Chasson Randle scored 22 points for Stanford and it was the first win for the Cardinal against a top 25 team away from Palo Alto since the 2008 NCAA tournament. The Cardinal's previous seven wins this season came over teams that were a combined 32-41.
"I think it's an important win for our conference," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said, referring to the Pac-12. "A number of teams have had some real signature wins, and I'm just happy that we were able to have one as well."
Forward Josh Huestis added 13 points and forward Dwight Powell had 10 points and 15 rebounds for Stanford which overcame a 10-point halftime deficit.
Junior center DeAndre Daniels (Los Angeles, Calif.) had 15 points for UConn, which was six of 10 from behind the arc in the first half and 0 for 12 in the second.
Randle's jump shot with three-and-half minutes left gave the Cardinal a 52-49 lead. The Huskies pulled within a point when Daniels tipped in a missed three-point attempt by senior forward Niels Giffey (Berlin, Germany). Senior guard Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) missed three shots in the final 40 seconds with a chance to put the Huskies ahead. He gave up an opportunity on UConn's final possession, passing the ball to sophomore guard Omar Calhoun (Brooklyn, N.Y.), whose three-pointer from the right wing bounced off the rim.
"I felt like Omar was the most open guy at the time," Napier said. "I felt like it was going to go in, and I bet he did too."
Napier, who finished with 12 points and eight assists, missed two three-pointers on a key possession with the Huskies trailing 52-51. Stanford got the ball back with 28 seconds left after a scrum underneath the basket.
Napier fouled Huestis on the inbounds play and he hit one of two free throws. Napier, who beat Florida with a jumper at the buzzer earlier this month, missed another shot with eight seconds left, forcing UConn to foul again.
He got the ball back on a rebound after Huestis missed another free throw. He dribbled down the court, but instead of trying a contested shot, he passed to Calhoun.
UConn led by 10 points at halftime and pushed the lead to 43-30, before consecutive three-pointers by Anthony Brown and Randle. That started a 14-0 run by the Cardinal, who used a stifling zone defense to hold the Huskies without a field goal for more than six minutes. The Huskies were just five of 31 from the field in the second half.
"It was just a matter of us being aggressive on the defensive end," Randle said. "Just being active, getting our hands moving, getting our feet moving and getting our feet moving and just hustling."
A driving basket and free throw by Randle gave Stanford its first lead of the second half at 44-43.
"Our guys really stepped up on the defensive end," Dawkins said.
Napier's jumper from the lane put UConn back on top 45-44 with just over 10 minutes left and the teams went back and forth. The Huskies closed the half on a 14-3 run that ended when Napier stole the ball from Randle and found graduate student Lasan Kromah (Greenbelt, Md.) ahead of the field for an easy layup just before buzzer.
The Huskies return to action on Sunday against another Pac-12 team as they travel to Washington for a 3:30 p.m. Eastern game. That contest will be seen on ESPNU and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network