BUFFALO, N.Y. – Shabazz Napier capped Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie’s first NCAA tournament appearance with a win.
Shaking off a 23-foot miss at the second-half buzzer, Napier scored nine of his 24 points in overtime to lead seventh-seeded UConn (27-8) to an 89-81 win over 10th-seeded Saint Joseph’s (24-10) in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday night.
It was a great win, said Ollie, whose team was ineligible last season because of academic sanctions. Those players right there, that’s what kept this university alive. They could have transferred. They could have done everything. ... They just stayed and they were resilient, and they played hard.
DeAndre Daniels scored 18, and freshman center Amida Brimah forced overtime by completing a three-point play in the final minute.
Langston Galloway scored 25 points for Saint Joseph’s (24-10).
That’s why I came to the University of Connecticut to play in these tournaments, to give myself and my team a chance to hoist that trophy at the end of the day, said Napier, who scored seven straight points in overtime to give the Huskies an 82-74 lead with 55 seconds left.
No. 4 MICHIGAN STATE 93, No. 13 DELAWARE 78: In Spokane, Wash., Adreian Payne scored a career-high 41 points to lead the Spartans (27-8). Payne set an NCAA record by making all 17 of his free throws and broke the program’s tournament scoring record, set previously by Greg Kelser in 1979.
No. 3 SYRACUSE 77, No. 14 WESTERN MICH. 53: In Buffalo, N.Y., Syracuse’s backcourt of Trevor Cooney and Tyler Ennis combined for 34 points, and the Orange (28-5) forced 11 turnovers in the opening half in running out to a double-digit lead.
No. 9 PITTSBURGH 77, No. 8 COLORADO 48: In Orlando, Fla., 6-foot-9 Talib Zanna scored 16 of his 18 points in the opening half to lead the Panthers (26-9).
No. 1 FLORIDA 67, No. 16 ALBANY 55: In Orlando, Fla., Dorian Finney-Smith scored 16 points, most on dunks, to lead the Gators to their school-record 27th straight win.
No. 2 MICHIGAN 57, No. 15 WOFFORD 40: In Milwaukee, Glenn Robinson III scored 14 points as the Wolverines (26-8) started their quest for a second straight trip to the Final Four.
No. 2 WISCONSIN 75, No. 15 AMERICAN 35: In Milwaukee, Ben Brust scored 17 points, and the Badgers (27-7) devastated American with a 22-5 run to close the first half.
No. 7 OREGON 87, No. 10 BYU 68: In Milwaukee, Elgin Cook scored a career-high 23 points to lead the Ducks (24-9).