Final: UConn 81, DePaul 69

John F. Silver

 Shabazz Napier may not be the Player of the Year in the Big East Conference this year.

Georgetown’s Otto Porter probably sealed that up on Saturday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.

Napier doesn’t have to take a back seat to any player. Not with his play lately.  DePaul was the latest victim on Saturday night.

Napier scored 28 points and Omar Calhoun scored 17 points –15 in the second half, as UConn rolled to its 19th win with a 81-69 win over DePaul on Saturday night.

For Napier, coming off a 27 point performance against Cincinnati on Thursday, it is a two game total of 55 points as he continues to pace the Huskies, who are 19-7 and 9-5 in the Big East.

Napier added four assists and seven rebounds and was 8 of 13 from the floor including 5 of 7 from 3-point range.

The Huskies actually trailed in the game at half and were down five after a steal and layup as DePaul had upset on its mind leading 39-34 in the first minute of the second half.

That’s when UConn got to work. UConn went on a 40-15 run over the next 13 minutes and took control of the game. Tyler Olander scored five straight points to start the run. Calhoun, playing with a wrap on his right wrist, ended it with a 3-pointer from the corner. The rest was just playing out the clock.

The Huskies, which shot 50 percent from the floor in the first half, shot a robust 70.8 percent in the second half and 5 of 8 from 3-point range.

Ryan Boatright added 17 points, six assists and four rebounds and a couple of highlight plays including a dunk and a behind the back no look pass to Calhoun during the second half run. Boatright, for the second consecutive game, locked up the guards on defense as he and Napier controlled DePaul’s Brandon Young, who had 13 points on 6 of 15 shooting. Cleveland Melvin led the Blue Demons (11-16, 2-12) with 20 points.

The Huskies will host Georgetown on Wednesday at Gampel Pavilion.

UConn is now 10-1 all-time against DePaul.  The Huskies also held a 32-21 rebound advantage against the Blue Demons as it shot 59 percent from the floor in the game.