Shabazz Napier scored nine of his 24 points in overtime against Saint Joseph's on Thursday.
March 21, 2014
BUFFALO, N.Y. - The No. 7 seed University of Connecticut men's basketball team is set for a showdown with former Big East foe and No. 2 Seed Villanova on Saturday in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. Tipoff is set for 9:40 p.m. and the game can be seen on TBS and heard on the UConn IMG Radio Network.
UConn (27-8) moved past No. 10 seed Saint Joseph's, 89-81, in overtime in the Second Round behind a team-high 24 points from senior guard Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.). The UConn guard scored 19 of his 24 points in the second half and overtime and the Huskies, who shot just two free throws in first half, went 15-16 from the line in overtime.
Junior forward DeAndre Daniels (Los Angeles, Calif.) scored 18 points, including the first three in overtime, while junior guard Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) added 17 points. Freshman center Amida Brimah (Accra, Ghana) finished the contest with nine points and six rebounds and converted a big three-point play in the final minute to tie the game at 70. With 39 seconds remaining, Brimah scored the put-back after gathering the offensive rebound from a Napier missed shot and then calmly stepped up to the line and made the free throw. He finished the game 3-3 from the line.
The Huskies are 30-33 all-time against the Wildcats in a series that doesn't include any meetings in the NCAA Tournament. Last season, Villanova defeated UConn, 70-61, at the XL Center, getting a game-high 25 points from freshman guard Ryan Arcidiacono. Sophomore guard Omar Calhoun (Brooklyn, N.Y.) poured in 16 points for the Huskies and Daniels tallied 13 points.
The Wildcats (29-4) advanced to the Third Round after defeating No. 15 seed Milwaukee, 72-52, on Thursday, as five Villanova players scored in double-figures, including junior guard Darrun Hilliard, who scored a team-high 16 points. Hilliard, senior guard James Bell and redshirt junior forward JayVaughn Pinkston all average at least 14 points this season for the Wildcats, who average 78.4 points a game and are shooting 45.2 percent from the floor on the year.