A 28-8 UConn run bested a 16-0 Seton Hall spurt and the Huskies pulled away for a much-needed 78-67 victory Sunday at the Prudential Center in Newark.
STAR OF THE GAME: Shabazz Napier scored all 22 of his points after Seton Hall’s 16-point eruption in the first half. By the afternoon’s end, Napier had made good on 8-of-12 field goal attempts and added nine assists, falling just shy of recording UConn’s first double-double.
KEY TO THE WIN: A tight game opened up when Napier became assertive on offense and the Huskies got rolling in transition. The Huskies took a 61-51 lead on a Napier pull-up from the elbow.
*A 16-0 Seton Hall run erased a double-digit deficit and handed the lead to the Pirates late in the first half. Fuquan Edwin, whose status for the game appeared in question due to a sprained ankle, was responsible for the first 10 points in that spurt. UConn committed four costly turnovers during the stretch.
*Ryan Boatright, who entered having made just four of his past 20 field goals, scored a quiet 20 points on 10-for-10 shooting from the free throw stripe.
*UConn made 12 of its 23 first half field goal attempts, but Seton Hall went 15-for-29. The Pirates clung to a one-point lead at the break; then created some breathing room with an early 8-0 second half run.
*RJ Evans, seldom-used in Big East play, scored six big points in the second half and defended Edwin, who was held to two field goals in the second half.