Shabazz Napier hit a trio of 3-pointers in overtime as UConn, lackluster for most of Sunday afternoon, emerged with a 69-64 victory over South Florida at Gampel Pavilion.
The Huskies, who move to 15-5 overall and 5-3 in the Big East, scored just 15 points in the first half. They needed just 3:30 to match that total in the second.
STAR OF THE GAME: Napier seemed passive in the first half, but delivered so many timely shots in the second. He tied the game on a 3-pointer with 4:20 remaining, hit two free throws with 40 seconds left to give UConn a two-point lead and then totaled 11 points in the overtime session. He finished with 24 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
KEY TO THE WIN: The Huskies forced the tempo in the second half and were able to roar back from a 12-point halftime deficit. After taking a 30-29 lead, the game was back-and-forth until overtime, when Napier provided the Huskies with some breathing room.
*UConn had a two-point lead at the end of regulation, but South Florida point guard Anthony Collins blew by Ryan Boatright for a game-tying layup with 11.6 seconds remaining. Napier misfired on a long 3-pointer and overtime ensued.
*UConn shot just 5-for-27 from the floor in the opening half. Fortunately for the Huskies, South Florida wasn’t much better, converting 10-of-28 attempts.
*Sunday marked UConn’s lowest point total in a first half since Dec. 10, 2002. The Huskies trailed UMass 30-9 at the break that day and came back to win.
*South Florida forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick was the only Bull who assembled an adequate offensive game. The 6-foot-9 forward scored 22 points on 5-for-12 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. He also pulled down 10 rebounds.