Shabazz Napier keeps UConn unbeaten with buzzer-beater over Florida
Connecticut is still perfect and it might be charmed.
Credit senior Shabazz Napier.
The Huskies guard seized control of a see-saw game against No. 15 Florida on Monday night in the final minute. He converted a four-point play to give his team the lead with 33 seconds left. When Florida scored to go up by one Napier nearly fumbled away the ball before regaining composure to hit a buzzer beater from the foul line and give his team a 65-64 home win (video below).
It's the fourth win of the season for the Huskies in games decided by two or fewer points. They have also beaten Maryland, Boston College and Indiana in nail-biters.
Shabazz sprinted to the opposite end of the court after hitting the decisive shot and into a tunnel where most of his team tracked him down for a celebration. March is still three months away but this sure felt like a moment for the month of madness.
Napier finished as the game's leading scorer with 26 points. He made five 3-pointers and was generally a thorn in the side of the Gators all night, making three steals.
It was the first game in a brutal three-game stretch for the Gators in which they will face three of the top 16 teams in the country. They're schedule to play No. 6 Kansas Dec. 10 and No. 16 Memphis on Dec. 17.
The Gators must be kicking themselves after leading by eight at one point. They failed to guard the 3-point line as well as they needed to and committed 16 turnovers. UConn was able to hoist three 3-pointers on one trip down the floor in the final minute and Napier drained the last of the three and was fouled in the process.
Florida big man Patric Young did his best down the stretch to be the go-to guy for his team. He made two big baskets in the final two minutes and finished 17 points and seven rebounds. Forward Casey Prather scored 19.
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