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Game report: UConn defeats St. Joseph in OT

Updated 12:25 am, Friday, March 21, 2014

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  • BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 20: Langston Galloway #10 of the Saint Joseph's Hawks goes to the basket against Phillip Nolan #0 of the Connecticut Huskies during the second round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the First Niagara Center on March 20, 2014 in Buffalo, New York. Photo: Elsa, Getty Images / 2014 Getty Images
    BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 20: Langston Galloway #10 of the Saint Joseph's Hawks goes to the basket against Phillip Nolan #0 of the Connecticut Huskies during the second round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the First Niagara Center on March 20, 2014 in Buffalo, New York. Photo: Elsa, Getty Images

 

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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The UConn Huskies got it to overtime and then Shabazz Napier drove them home.

The seventh-seeded Huskies had their hands full with No. 10 Saint Joe's, but escaped with an 89-81 overtime victory Thursday night in NCAA tournament second-round play at the First Niagara Center.

Napier scored nine of his team-high 24 points in the extra session and the Huskies advance to play No. 2 Villanova on Saturday. UConn was 16-for-16 on free throws in the second half and overtime before Ryan Boatright's miss with 8.9 seconds left.

DeAndre Daniels added 18 points, Boatright 17 and Niels Giffey 10.

Daniels' three-point play not only gave UConn a 73-70 lead in overtime, but it knocked Halil Kanacevic (12 points, seven rebounds) out of the game with five fouls. Langston Galloway tied it at 73-73 with a 3-pointer -- his fourth of the game.

Napier missed a chance to win it with 2.7 seconds left, but his 3-pointer bounced off the back of the rim. The Huskies got one final chance after Galloway mishandled the ball twice and the Hawks were called with a shot clock violation.

UConn was put in position to win the game after freshman Amida Brimah completed a three-point play with 39 seconds left in regulation to tie it 70-70.

The Huskies took their first lead of the second half on Shabazz Napier's three-point play, which gave them a 55-53 lead with 9:14 remaining. But a 6-0 run by Kanacevic turned the game back into the Hawks' direction, 62-57 with 6:09 left.

But the Huskies' 3-point shooting still kept them in the game. Daniels' 3-pointer with 2:09 left gave UConn a 67-66 lead, but Chris Wilson's little jumper at the other end gave the lead right back to the Hawks.

After leading by as many as 10 in the first half, Saint Joe's still went into the half leading 40-35.

UConn managed to close the half on an 8-3 run, with 3-pointers from Giffey and Boatright. UConn shot 45.2 percent (14-for-31) in the half and 6-for-11 on 3-pointers.

STAR OF THE GAME: Napier, who scored nine of his team-high 24 points in overtime after an off night from the field (7-for-22).

KEYS TO WIN: Lasan Kromah put the clamps on Galloway in the second half, and UConn went 17-for-18 in the second half and overtime on foul shots.

QUOTABLE: "All of our guys stepped up tonight. It wasn't a good first half, but we kept believing." -- UConn coach Kevin Ollie

WORTH NOTING: The UConn band performed the national anthem before the game. ¦ The Huskies had five players with NCAA tournament experience, while Saint Joe's had none. ¦ Saint Joe's coach Phil Martelli came in with a 6-5 record in the NCAAs with two Sweet 16 trips and one Elite Eight (2004).

UP NEXT: NCAA Tournament third round, UConn vs. No. 2 Villanova-No. 15 Milwaukee, Saturday, TBA

-- WILLIAM S. PAXTON