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NCAA Game Summary - Saint Joseph's vs. Connecticut



(Thursday, March 20th)

Final Score: Connecticut 89, Saint Joseph's 81 (OT)

Buffalo, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Shabazz Napier sat in the locker room after a first half he said went by too fast and knew he needed to pick his teammates up.

"At the end of the day," Napier said, "this may be my last game."

He made sure it wasn't.

Napier scored 19 of his 24 points after the first half -- including nine in overtime -- and Connecticut rallied to beat Saint Joseph's 89-81 on Thursday to stay alive in the NCAA Tournament.

Napier's teammates carried the load for 20 minutes until the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year turned it on.

The senior guard missed a 3-pointer at the regulation buzzer but scored seven in a row in overtime to give the Huskies (27-8) an eight-point lead with under a minute to go.

Atlantic 10 champion Saint Joe's -- with senior big man Halil Kanacevic fouled out -- was never closer than five after that.

The 10th-seeded Hawks led by 10 in the first half and were eyeing an upset of the seventh-seeded Huskies in the program's first NCAA Tournament game in six years.

In the end, Napier escaped a fate 60 percent of the Saint Joe's starting lineup couldn't.

The first NCAA Tournament game for seniors Kanacevic, Langston Galloway and Ronald Roberts Jr. was also their last.

When Galloway and Roberts checked out in the final seconds, Napier hugged them both.

"I didn't know them guys until today, but when you play basketball with that competitiveness, you earn a lot of respect," said Napier. "I'm passionate for the game, and I seen it in them guys' eyes. They're seniors, and this is it.

"I would have loved for them to do the same thing for me. When you work so hard for something and it goes down the drain, it saddens me. But I'm happy I'm on the other end. I just wanted to show them my respect and tell the guys that he did a tremendous job.

"Just sometimes you fight, and you don't win the battle."

DeAndre Daniels added 18 points and Ryan Boatright scored 17 for the Huskies, who advanced in the East Region and will face old Big East foe Villanova after the second-seeded Wildcats beat Milwaukee 73-53 later Thursday.

Galloway had 25 points to lead Saint Joe's (24-10) and DeAndre Bembry scored 16. Kanacevic ended with 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists but fouled out with 3:47 left in overtime.

"It will be a long night tonight, probably a long weekend. Then we'll get each of these guys on their path to life," said Saint Joe's coach Phil Martelli.

"If it's the hardest thing they face," Martelli added, "they've lived a blessed life."

UConn is back in the tournament after serving a one-year ban last year over academics. The Huskies, who fell to Louisville in the AAC final on Sunday, played their first tournament game since 1979 without Jim Calhoun as coach.

Calhoun, who led UConn to three national titles between 1999 and 2011, stepped aside because of health problems prior to last season, allowing Kevin Ollie to take over.

"At the end of the day, we wanted to outwork our opponent," Ollie said. "It took a little longer than I thought, but fortunately, we got it done at the end."

The Hawks beat VCU on Sunday to win their first A-10 title since 1997 and made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008, when they lost in the first round to Blake Griffin and Oklahoma.

It was the program's second appearance in the NCAAs since the 2003-04 season, when the Hawks went 27-0 in the regular season, reached No. 1 in the AP poll and fell to Oklahoma State in the Elite Eight.

A Hawks win could have set up a game against Big 5 rival Villanova. The schools, separated by seven miles down U.S. Route 30, play an annual game known as the Holy War. Villanova won this season's matchup by a record 30 points.

The upset bid fell apart in the second half.

The Huskies cut a seven-point deficit to one after consecutive 3-pointers by Niels Giffey and Napier and took their first lead since 16-15 on Napier's three-point play to make it 57-55 with 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

Kanacevic scored six in a row to give the Hawks a five-point lead but UConn later moved ahead again on a Daniels 3-pointer with 2:09 on the clock.

Then, the frantic final minutes.

Chris Wilson, the quietest Saint Joe's starter until that point, hit a floater and two free throws after Napier dribbled out of bounds for a 70-67 Hawks lead with 49.2 seconds remaining in regulation.

UConn tied it on Amida Brimah's three-point play with 39 ticks left. Galloway then missed an off-balance shot off the backboard, giving UConn the ball back with 2.7 seconds showing.

"I'm definitely upset with myself for not getting a better quality shot," said Galloway, "because I know if I had gotten a better quality shot, I probably would have made it."

The inbounds went to midcourt, then to Napier, whose running 3-point try missed at the buzzer.

Giffey added 10 points for UConn while Roberts scored 15 for the Hawks and Wilson ended with 13 points after a slow start, including five in overtime. Galloway opened overtime with a 3-pointer and scored six in the extra frame.

Saint Joe's shot 56 percent in the first half and led by as many as 10 points after Galloway -- changing his mind in mid-air behind the 3-point line -- found Bembry underneath for a layup to make it 37-27 with 3:16 to play.

UConn trimmed it to 40-35 at halftime on Boatright's 3-pointer from the left corner in the final seconds.

Game Notes

UConn leads the all-time series 5-2. The teams hadn't played since Dec. 29, 1989, an 83-58 Huskies win. The last Saint Joe's win over UConn came in the first round of the 1965 NCAA Tournament (67-61).

03/21 00:23:57 ET

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Local
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
CHA 97
POR 105
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
Final
FLA 1
CAR 0
7:00pm Tonight
UNC
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Final
PHI 91
BRK 99
Final
ORL 96
GSW 111
Final
CHA 97
POR 105
Final
CLE 113
WAS 87
Final
DET 98
LAC 104
Final
DAL 109
NYK 102
Final
ATL 115
TOR 126
Final
MIN 86
MIL 103
Final
HOU 102
SAC 89
Final
OKC 97
UTA 82
Final
SAN 106
IND 100
Final
PHO 120
DEN 112
 
Final
LAL 93
MEM 99
 
7:30pm Tonight
TEXAM
LSU
7:30pm Tonight
TEX
TCU
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
FRES 64
MAR 68
Final
CHAT 61
RMU 46
Final
EMICH 68
ROCH 35
 
Final
MRGST 51
LIB 50
 
Final
HAMP 60
AMER 64
 
Final
BEL 78
DEN 57
Final
UMASS 79
NE 54
Final
JMU 79
SHU 72
 
Final
KNST 84
SAMF 71
 
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
CHAM 60
MIZZ 74
Final
CCAR 61
LAMON 48
Final
OKLA 75
UCLA 65
Final
ELON 65
UNF 72
 
Final
UWMIL 66
ORU 69
Final
WCU 66
CHIST 61
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
BYU 85
PURD 87
Final
EVAN 79
USF 72
Final
COL 71
GTDNS 75
 
Final
VERM 73
BRY 47
 
Final
OSU 91
CAMP 64
Final
LOU 45
CLST 33
Final
UCF 69
DAVID 95
Final
IONA 126
DELST 76
 
Final
OU 78
UGST 83
Final
TOWS 97
GOUCHER 43
 
Final
ND 81
GRAM 54
 
Final
YALE 82
LAF 60
 
Final
GWU 91
LONG 66
 
Final
VT 78
UMO 63
Final
WAKE 83
MNTER 49
 
Final
NAVY 67
PSUHARRIS 42
 
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
Final
MINN 61
STJ 70
Final
JVU 69
TRINBAPT 57
 
Final
YOUNG 66
UMKC 63
 
Final
UAB 43
WISC 72
Final
CORN 67
CAN 60
Final
WVU 103
VMI 72
Final
DEP 74
LEH 86
 
Final
UNT 67
MVSU 52
 
Final
MARS 68
MORE 77
 
Final
TCU 74
RAD 50
 
Final
SELA 86
TENT 65
 
Final
SMU 72
TXSOU 59
 
Final
UTAH 85
TXPA 48
Final
LMU 66
UCR 62
 
Final
SCAR 89
UNCA 75
 
Final
SD 86
WAYNEST 69
 
Final
PITT 70
KYST 47
Final
UWGB 59
FLGC 45
Final
IOWA 70
NILL 49
 
Final
ORST 69
AUB 71
 
Final
MONT 75
CARROLLMT 52
 
Final
SUTAH 64
EKENT 73
 
Final
NMST 78
FAM 33
 
Final
WYO 65
STET 41
 
Final
EWASH 81
NKENTUCKY 60
 
Final
IDST 57
WLVRN 60
 
Final
GEOR 66
UF 65
 
Final
GONZ 88
UGA 76
 
Final
NIOWA 61
NW 42
 
Final
CAL 72
CPSL 52
 
Final
UCD 77
UTST 70
 
Final
SDST 59
ARZ 61
 
Final
NDAK 75
ALAST 68
 
Final
CSNO 55
PORST 63
 
2nd
AKAN 40
PAC 37
 
2nd
OKST 47
TULSA 30
 
2:00am Today
COLST
MIZST
12:00pm Today
TENN
SCU
 
12:00pm Today
RMU
LAMON
 
1:00pm Today
BUT
OKLA
 
2:00pm Today
BRO
PEAY
 
2:00pm Today
UTEP
PRIN
 
2:30pm Today
CHAT
CCAR
 
2:30pm Today
RIU
KU
 
3:30pm Today
USCU
FIU
 
3:30pm Today
GEOR
WISC
 
4:00pm Today
USB
LIU
 
4:30pm Today
XAV
SDU
 
5:00pm Tonight
INDST
ILL
 
6:00pm Tonight
WRST
CSFU
 
6:00pm Tonight
STJOE
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6:30pm Tonight
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7:00pm Tonight
UNC
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8:30pm Tonight
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LBSU
 
8:30pm Tonight
GT
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9:00pm Tonight
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9:30pm Tonight
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UF
UAB
 
11:00pm Tonight
WASH
SJST
 
11:59pm Tonight
MEM
BAY
 
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
WASU
 
Final
NYI 3
WAS 2
Final
BUF 1
WIN 2
Final
FLA 1
CAR 0
Final
TAM 4
NYR 3
Final
DET 5
PHI 2
Final
PIT 4
TOR 3
Final
MIN 0
LOS 4
Final
COL 2
CHI 3
 
3rd
SJS 0
CAL 1
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
EDM
 
12:30pm Today
DET
CHI
4:30pm Today
DAL
PHI
8:30pm Tonight
SFX
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