College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, March 7, 2012
It may not have been the prettiest of performances, but Connecticut's 71-67 overtime win against West Virginia was the 13th straight post-season victory for Jim Calhoun's Huskies.
UConn, the reigning national champion, won all five of their Big East games last season, six NCAA tourney tilts and now have won two straight in the current Big East feast.
The Huskies (20-12, 8-10) trailed the Mountaineers late in the second half by nine points, but that's whenShabazz Napier- who scored a game high 26 points, went off, scoring nine straight points to bring UConn even at 63-all. Throughout the game, Napier was aided by timely buckets from Jeremy Lamb,who went 9-for-18 with three triples for 22 points and added six rebounds.
Napier was not sharp from the field, making just seven of 22 shots, but that included four three-pointers and he was 8 of 9 from the foul line and dished six assists.
Connecticut shot just 40% for the game, but their defense held West Virginia to 28% from the field.
Connecticut's win - their second in as many days - put them into a third round match-up with second-ranked Syracuse, which took the Huskies' measure on February 25 with a 71-69 win. Tip time at Madison Square Garden is noon ET on Thursday.