John F. Silver
Napier had zero points for the Huskies through most of the first half and was content to be a facilitator as the Huskies built as big as a 13 point lead.
Seton Hall roared back with a run and Napier then took matters into his own hands.
Napier’s first hoop came with 2:55 left in the first half.
Napier ended Sunday’s affair with a lot of hoops, a lot of assists and a lot of steals.
Napier dominated on Sunday scoring 22 points, dishing out nine assists to go with six steals as UConn rallied to defeat Seton Hall 78-67 at the Prudential Center in Newark.
The Huskies (16-6, 6-4 Big East) needed everything it got from Napier as a 25-12 lead turned into a 28-25 deficit late in the first half. Napier’s jumper got the Huskies back on track and set UConn up for a big second half. Napier had 18 of his 22 in the second half.
Seton Hall jumped out to as big as a 43-36 second half lead before Napier spear-headed a big run. Over the final 17 plus minutes of the second half the Huskies outscored Seton Hall 46-24 as Napier control the offense with his playmaking ability and controlled the defensive end with his ball pressure.
Napier’s layup off a feed from Enosch Wolf gave the Huskies the lead at 48-46 with a little over 10 minutes left. Napier hit a 3-pointer to push the lead to 51-46 and the Huskies were never challenged.
UConn, which lost to St.John’s on Wednesday, rebounded from two straight poor shooting games to shoot a robust 54 percent from the floor 21 for 23 from the free-throw line.
Ryan Boatright was a worthy sidekick with 20 points including a perfect 10 for 10 from the line. UConn had 14 assists on 26 baskets. Omar Calhoun scored 10 points, all in the first half.
Aaron Crosby led undermanned Seton Hall with 25 points on 10 of 15 shooting. Fuquan Edwin, who played less than 100 percent with an ankle injury, added 19 points for the Pirates, who dressed only nine players.