The No. 12 UConn Huskies proved they were for real on Monday night, stunning the No. 15 Florida Gators 66-65 on a buzzer-beating shot from senior guard Shabazz Napier.
Trailing by a point with 17 seconds to go in the game, Napier was pressured by the Florida defense and initially lost the ball, but he recovered it, only to miss an ugly jumper with just seconds left on the clock.
But DeAndre Daniels was there to tip it back to him, and given a second lease on life, Napier buried a mid-range jumper with no time left to give the Huskies (8-0, 0-0 AAC) a stunning victory.
Napier led the Huskies with 26 points and was clutch from behind the arc, connecting on 5 of 8 from three-point range. He's playing as well—if not better—as anyone in the nation, and he absolutely willed UConn to victory tonight.
As impressive as the win was tonight for the Huskies, it was equally devastating for Billy Donovan's Gators (6-2, 0-0 SEC). It was a back and forth affair all game, with multiple lead changes and both teams needing to come back from extensive scoring droughts.
Florida was led by senior forward Casey Prather who matched his season average with 19 points. He had eight in the first half and 11 in the opening minutes of the second, but completely disappeared down the stretch.
The key play of the game, and one that might haunt the Gators going forward, came with three minutes left in the game when Florida senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin went down with an apparent ankle injury. He had 15 points at the time but didn't return.
UConn will return to action on Friday when they host Maine. Florida, on the other hand, will continue a murderous three-game stretch when they face the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks on Dec. 8.
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