UConn and Florida met Dec. 2 at Gampel Pavilion, the Huskies winning 65-64 at the buzzer.
The Final 1:18
1:03 — Missed three-point shot by Shabazz Napier. Lasan Kromah rebound.
:44 — Missed three-point shot by Kromah. Napier rebound.
:34 — Three-point shot and free throw by Napier (foul by Dorian Finney-Smith). 63-62 UConn
:18 — Layup by Michael Frazier, 64-63 Florida
:01 — Missed jumper by Napier.
:00: — Jumper by Napier off DeAndre Daniels tip, 65-64 UConn
UConn's leading scorers: Napier 26 points, Daniels 14.
Florida's leading scorers: Casey Prather 19, Young 17, Scottie Wilbekin 15
Inside the stats sheet: points in the paint, 32-14 Florida. Points off turners, 24-14, UConn. Lead changes: 11. Napier and Daniels had 20 of UConn's 30 points in the first half. They had 20 of the Huskies' 35 in the second half. ... With the win, UConn went to 8-0 and had won three games by one point and a fourth by two points.
Shabazz Napier on the final seconds: "Coach drew up a play. We kind of knew they would be in a 1-3-1 zone. He just tried to get a ball screen for me and I knew they were going to trap it. As soon as I saw them trap it, I tried to get through it and he tipped the ball and it was kind of a little chaotic after that. I had the ball and I thought to myself, `I could take this shot.' I shot it. I missed it terribly and I was glad DeAndre ran to the board. DeAndre put a hand on the ball and it bounced up higher and I was able to be in the right spot at the right time. I shot the ball and I knew it was going in. When stuff like that happens, when it comes down to the last seconds, the game seems much slower than it is. As soon as I grabbed the ball it was like .9 seconds left. It just felt so slow ... nine ... eight ... and I just tried to shoot the ball as quick as I possibly can but, at the same time, shoot it regular. And as soon as I let it go, I felt like it was going in."
DeAndre Daniels on tipping the ball: "I was just trying to crash the boards hard, just trying to get a tip-in in case he missed. I guess I glimpsed it a little bit. But what an amazing shot. Shabazz, he's a great player. He willed his team to win. He never gave up. The heart the kid has — I hope everybody on the team follows his lead."
Napier on the win, crowd going wild and him running off the court: "I'm kind of claustrophobic with that. I don't like guys on top of me. I was trying to run to the locker room and on my way there I met a couple of great students. Times like that, you just go off your instinct."
UConn coach Kevin Ollie: "I'm happy but I'm a little exhausted. Once again, we showed our resolve. We didn't get rebounds down the stretch, we didn't do a lot of things. But at the end of the day it's about our heart. We're not the biggest team in America, but man, I wouldn't trade our heart for anybody."
Florida coach Billy Donovan: The guy who won the game for them was DeAndre Daniels. He made an unbelievable tip out, off balance, which kept the ball alive."
Missing elements: Wilbekin, playing in his third game of the season after being suspended for the first four, had 15 points but he injured an ankle with 3:01 to play, was taken to the locker room and never returned. Kasey Hill also did not play in the first game. Hill, who missed seven games with injuries and has had turf toe in the tournament, averages 5.5 points and 3.2 assists. He has five steals and 10 rebounds in the tournament.
From The Courant archives