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UConn Advances to Final Four with 60-54 Win Over Michigan State

March 30, 2014
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



UCONN SPORTS RELEASE

 Shabazz Napierscored 17 of his 25 points in the second half, and UConn beat Michigan State 60-54 to advance to the Final Four.

Napier, the East Regional's most outstanding player, hit three huge free throws with 37.6 seconds left at Madison Square Garden to carry UConn to the Final Four just as Kemba Walkerdid in Napier's freshman year.

The Huskies (30-8) rallied from a nine-point second-half deficit to become the first No. 7 seed to reach the Final Four since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

Fourth-seeded Michigan State's seniors become the first four-year players recruited by Tom Izzo to fail to reach the Final Four. Gary Harris led the Spartans (29-9) with 22 points.

The undersized Huskies matched Michigan State's physical play box-out for box-out, holding the Spartans to just six offensive rebounds and six points in the paint. UConn dared Michigan State to shoot 3-pointers, and the Spartans nearly made enough, going 11 for 29 from behind the arc.

Trailing 51-49 with more than two minutes left, Michigan State had a chance to tie or take the lead. But Adreian Payne fumbled the ball away, and Napier drilled a jumper on the other end.

After Payne hit a pair of free throws to pull the Spartans back within two, Keith Appling was called for a foul on Napier's 3-point attempt. The senior extended the lead to 56-51, and after Travis Trice missed a 3, Michigan State couldn't get to UConn to foul. Phillip Nolanslipped free for a dunk that clinched the victory and had thousands of Huskies fans in the Garden leaping up and down.

Ryan Boatright made four steals as UConn used its quickness to force 16 turnovers. DeAndre Danielsshut down Branden Dawson, who scored 24 points in Michigan State's Sweet 16 win over top-seeded Virginia. Dawson attempted just three field goals, making one, to finish with five points.

The 6-foot-10, 245-pound Payne hit two long jumpers to put Michigan State up 32-23 less than four minutes into the second half. But Napier started driving, getting the bigger Appling in foul trouble and UConn back in the game.

After hitting four straight free throws to tie the score at 32 with 12:38 left, Napier was struck in the face by Gary Harris - the UConn guard was called for a foul on the play - and left the court with his nose gushing blood. He was back less than minute later when Daniels completed a three-point play to give the Huskies the lead for good.

Boatright hit a contested 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down to put UConn up 49-39 with less than seven minutes left. But the Spartans rallied behind their long-range shooting.

Line Score1st2ndTotal
UCONN (30-8) 21 39 60
MICHIGAN STATE (29-9) 25 29 54

 

 

   

Quick StatsMSUUCONN
Field Goals 18-46 (39.1%) 17-49 (34.7%)
Free Throws 7-8 (87.5%) 21-22 (95.5%)
3-Point FGs 11-29 (37.9%) 5-22 (22.7%)
Off. Rebounds 6 7
Def. Rebounds 26 23
Total Rebounds 32 30
Assists 13 8
Turnovers 16 8
Steals 5 7
Blocks 3 3
Points off Turnovers 14 18
2nd Chance Pts. 2 8
Bench Points 3 2
UConn StatsPTRBASBKSTTOMIN
NAPIER, SHABAZZ 25 6 4 0 1 2 37
DANIELS, DEANDRE 12 8 0 2 2 2 36
BOATRIGHT, RYAN 11 2 1 0 4 1 38
GIFFEY, NIELS 6 5 2 0 0 1 35
NOLAN, PHILLIP 4 4 1 1 0 0 27
KROMAH, LASAN 2 0 0 0 0 0 10
BRIMAH, AMIDA 0 0 0 0 0 0 10
OLANDER, TYLER 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
SAMUEL, TERRENCE 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
Total 60 30 8 3 7 8 200
MICHIGAN STATE StatsPTRBASBKSTTOMIN
HARRIS, GARY 22 2 2 0 0 2 37
PAYNE, ADREIAN 13 9 3 1 1 2 35
VALENTINE, DENZEL 9 8 2 0 2 4 37
DAWSON, BRANDEN 5 8 0 1 1 3 34
CHAPMAN, DAN 3 0 0 0 0 0 0
APPLING, KEITH 2 0 2 0 0 4 28
KAMINSKI, KENNY 0 0 0 0 0 0 6
TRICE, TRAVIS 0 1 2 0 0 1 18
COSTELLO, MATT 0 0 2 1 1 0 5
Total 54 32 13 3 5 16 200
UConn StatsFG3FGFT
1st Half: 8-29 2-12 3-4
  27.6% 16.7% 75.0%
2nd Half: 9-20 3-10 18-18
  45.0% 30.0% 100.0%
Total: 17-49 5-22 21-22
  34.7% 22.7% 95.5%
MICHIGAN STATE StatsFG3FGFT
1st Half: 9-24 6-15 1-2
  37.5% 40.0% 50.0%
2nd Half: 9-22 5-14 6-6
  40.9% 35.7% 100.0%
Total: 18-46 11-29 7-8
  39.1% 37.9% 87.5%

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