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Men's Basketball: Napier double-double leads No. 21 UConn past Temple

Senior Staff Writer

Published: Friday, February 21, 2014

Updated: Friday, February 21, 2014 00:02

Basketball

JON KULAKOFSKY/The Daily Campus

Shabazz Napier goes up to the basket against Memphis defenders. Napier racked up 34 points this game to help lift the Huskies in an overtime win over the Tigers. UConn defeated Memphis 86-81.

Temple upset then-No. 23 SMU on Sunday, but Shabazz Napier made sure No. 21 UConn wasn’t going to be next.

Behind the senior’s 17 points and 12 rebounds, – his first double-double since Jan. 16 at Memphis – the Huskies rolled past the Owls 68–55 Thursday night at Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, earning the season sweep of the Owls. UConn topped Temple in their first meeting on Jan. 21 by the score of 90-66.

The win was the Huskies’ seventh in their last eight games, and the team improves to 21-5 overall and 9-4 in the American Athletic Conference.

Junior Ryan Boatright followed Napier’s performance with 14 points, while DeAndre Daniels and Amida Brimah added 13 and 11 respectively to round out the four Huskies who scored in double figures.

UConn — the 11th-best 3-point shooting team in the country — did not shoot the ball well from downtown Thursday, going just 2-for-13. The Huskies, however, did make 45 percent of their shots in total on 22-for-49 shooting, while holding the Owls to just 34 percent from the field.

Temple edged UConn 34-30 on the boards despite Napier’s effort on the glass but committed 16 turnovers, leading to 18 UConn points.

Napier, a 6-foot-1 guard, has been the Huskies’ leading rebounder with 5.8 per game. His 12 boards Thursday marked the first time he grabbed double-digit rebounds since a Nov. 17 win over Boston University at Gampel Pavilion in which he had the same amount.

Temple held an 18-12 advantage 10 minutes into the game, but a 7-0 run sparked by Boatright and Daniels regained the Huskies’ lead, and they never trailed after that.

With the loss, the Owls fall to 7-18 on the season and have lost 13 of the 15 games they have played in 2014. Their 2-11 record in the American has dropped them into a tie for last place with Central Florida.

UConn will return home to face SMU (21-6, 10-4 American) on Sunday at Gampel Pavilion at 2 p.m. The Huskies lost their previous meeting with the Mustangs, 74-65, on Jan. 4 at Moody Coliseum in Dallas.

 

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