Connecticut 59, Indiana 58

Larry Fleisher, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


NEW YORK --- Guard Shabazz Napier scored a season-high 27 points and 18th-ranked Connecticut held off Indiana, 59-58, Friday night in the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project at Madison Square Garden.
Napier scored 16 points in the second half when the Huskies (6-0) struggled to pull away and was named the MVP of the event for scoring 47 points in the two wins. His biggest basket came with 95 seconds remaining when he converted a layup through traffic for a 59-58 lead.
Napier had a chance to seal it but missed a 3-pointer. Indiana, however, committed a turnover after getting the rebound and Napier was called for an offensive foul as he attempted to penetrate with 22.4 seconds remaining.
Following a timeout by Indiana(5-1), guard Yogi Ferrell drove around forward Deandre Daniels but his running jumper with eight seconds remaining went off the top of the basket. After three timeouts, Indiana retained possession with seven-tenths of a second remaining and Ferrell missed an off-balance jumper from the left side.
While Napier finished 10-of-14 from the field, nobody else reached double figures for the Huskies, who shot 39.6 percent and committed 17 turnovers. Guard Ryan Boatright added nine points but was 2-for-9.
Ferrell led Indiana with 19 points but was 6-for-20 from the field. He missed his first five shots of the second half before hitting three straight shots, including a 3-point play that gave Indiana a 56-55 lead with 3:07 remaining.
Indiana held a 58-57 lead with 1:53 remaining on an Evan Gordon jumper but did not score again.
The Huskies held Indiana nearly eight minutes without a basket during a 12-4 run that gave them an 18-12 lead with 6:49 remaining on a layup by Daniels. On the next possession, Indiana ended a stretch of six straight missed shots and seven turnovers when forward Devin Davis converted a layup.
Indiana tied it at 24-24 on a running layup by Ferrell with 70 seconds remaining but Napier hit a 3-pointer from just inside the NBA line with 45 seconds remaining and added another from the top of the key with three seconds remaining for a 30-24 edge at halftime.
NOTES: In the first 2 1/2 minutes, the teams combined for four fouls and missed five shots before F Will Sheehey hit a layup. ... Napier was called for a palming violation but avoided getting a technical foul following a demonstrative display. ... Former Huskies coach Jim Calhoun was given a standing ovation when he appeared on the court during a first-half timeout.