No. 24 UConn picked up a season sweep over Memphis with its solid 86-81 American Athletic Conference win on Saturday at home. The Huskies (20-5, 8-4) needed overtime and some Shabazz Napier heroics to advance past Memphis (19-6, 8-4), but Kevin Ollie’s bunch will be happy with the win over a talented Memphis team.
Napier hit the critical three-point play with a minute left to tie the game for UConn and put the game into overtime and led the Huskies with a career-high 34 points while also adding four assists, four steals and five rebounds in the big AAC win.
Ryan Boatright (21 points) also hit a key three-pointer in overtime and UConn was good at the free throw line down the stretch in going 29-for-36 from the free throw line overall.
It wasn’t a pretty win, as they only shot 40 percent from the field and had 10 team assists, but UConn limited themselves to only six turnovers and stayed in the game long enough for their guards to take over and make plays down the stretch.
With Connecticut role players defending the rim or providing hustle (Lasan Kromah), the Huskies can remain calm knowing that they have a couple takeover guys down the stretch.
If UConn can add a consistent third scoring option behind Napier and Boatright, they’ll be really tough to stop in these final few weeks. Right now the Huskies are limiting turnovers and they can be a bit isolation heavy, but they mostly take make-able shots.
The Huskies have a reasonable schedule down the stretch with home games against SMU and Cincinnati and a road game at Louisville. Can UConn make a run and win some games before the tournament?