Storrs, CT (Sports Network) - Shabazz Napier scored 12 of his game-high 24 points in the extra session to lead the Connecticut Huskies to a 69-64 decision over the South Florida Bulls in a Big East Conference overtime thriller at Gampel Pavilion.
Napier also grabbed eight rebounds and swiped three steals for UConn (15-5, 5-3 Big East), which was coming off of a three-point overtime win over Providence. Ryan Boatright added 17 points and DeAndre Daniels blocked four shots in the win.
Toarlyn Fitzpatrick recorded a double-double of 22 points and 10 boards for the Bulls (10-11, 1-8), who led by as many as 12 before suffering their fourth consecutive setback. Victor Rudd chipped in 12 points, Anthony Collins scored 10, and Jawanza Poland tallied eight points, nine rebounds, and four steals off the bench.
Both teams got off to slow starts. USF shot 35.7 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes. The Huskies were unable to take advantage as they went 5- of-27 from the floor to produce their lowest scoring output in a half this season and go into the intermission trailing, 27-15.
UConn shot out of halftime to generate a 10-0 run that made it a two-point game just over two minutes into the second period. The Huskies eventually took the lead, but the conference rivals traded leads back and forth in a very competitive affair. The Bulls were behind, 52-50, before Collins made a contested layup to tie it up. Napier missed a very deep 3-point attempt at the buzzer which sent the game into overtime.
Napier drilled a trio of 3-pointers for the Huskies to begin the overtime session while USF managed just one dunk by Rudd during that time. UConn held onto its lead to complete the comeback and notch its third win in a row.
USF held a narrow, 43-41 edge in the rebounding battle, but UConn survived by converting 26-of-33 at the free-throw line and outscoring the Bulls, 27-18, from beyond the arc.
The Sports Network