John F. Silver
In a game where UConn scored 15 first half points, shot 29.8 percent from the floor in the game and found itself in overtime against lowly South Florida, Napier was here to bail them out.
Napier hit three consecutive 3-pointers in overtime and scored 24 points as UConn won its third straight with a 69-64 overtime win over South Florida before 9,205 at Gampel Pavilion.
It was an ugly game that wasn’t fun, as opposed to Thursday’s ugly thriller in overtime against Providence, also a UConn win.
Napier, who missed a 25-footer at the end of regulation, calmly nailed his first 3-pointer of the overtime to make it 55-52. The next time down the floor on the break, Napier pulled up on an open 3-pointer and knocked it down for a quick 3-pointer and a 56-52 lead. His final 3-pointer came at the top of the key with 1:39 left to make the score 61-54 . Napier scored 11 points in the overtime.
The Huskies struggled offensively everywhere with only Ryan Boatright scoring in double figures with 17 points on 3 for 11 shooting. No other UConn player was in double figures with Deandre Daniels suffering through a six points, six rebounds game before fouling out.
Napier put the Huskies on his back, much as he has done throughout the season as the Huskies improved to 15-5, 5-3 in the Big East.
It was a rough game for the Huskies, who shot 5 of 27 in the first half for a cool 18.7 percent. The 15 points were the lowest for UConn in a half since it trailed UMass 30-9 in December of 2002. UConn came back to win that game and did so on Sunday.
Trailing 27-15 at the half, the Huskies started on an 8-0 run and went on a 15-2 run in the first four minutes of the half.
South Florida (10-11, 1-8) was led by 22 points and 10 rebounds from Toarlyn Fitzpatrick.