UConn made 10 3-pointers—including a crucial 4-point play from Shabazz Napier—to fend off a feisty Stony Brook squad for a 73-62 victory Sunday afternoon at Gampel Pavilion.
The Huskies, playing without sixth man R.J. Evans, were lethargic throughout until the barrage of 3s began in the middle of the second half. UConn moves to 5-1.
STAR OF THE GAME: Niels Giffey replaced Evans as the sixth man, and came through with 15 points and eight rebounds. He hit some timely shots and also came up with loose balls that extended several UConn possessions.
KEY TO THE WIN: UConn canned seven 3-pointers to open up an otherwise back-and-forth contest. Shabazz Napier hit the first, Niels Giffey buried another on the ensuing possession and Omar Calhoun followed up with back-to-back longballs to give the Huskies their first comfortable lead. Napier’s second 3-pointer—a spot-up in transition off a feed from Ryan Boatright—capped a 19-4 run, and his four-point play minutes later essentially shut the door on Stony Brook. The Huskies did not make a two-point basket in the final 11:39.
*Napier, quiet throughout the first half of most games this year, did not attempt a field goal until the 7:37. He had difficulty finding room in the halfcourt, as did Ryan Boatright (nine points, seven assists). Stony Brook swarmed the UConn guards, hedging every on-ball screen and offering help in the lane. Napier, who finished with 19 points, has led the Huskies in scoring all six games.
*UConn missed 12 of its first 13 shots and remained sluggish offensively, especially in the halfcourt. With the exception of their 3-point marksmanship, the Huskies’ halfcourt offense was stagnant throughout.
*Evans, sidelined with a sternalclavicular sprain, is expected to be Thursday’s game versus New Hampshire, but could return for the Dec. 4 tilt with N.C. State at Madison Square Garden.