Roundup: Backcourt tandem propels UConn

Senior guard Shabazz Napier (13) was instrumental in UConn’s overtime victory, scoring a career-high 34 points.
Senior guard Shabazz Napier (13) was instrumental in UConn’s overtime victory, scoring a career-high 34 points.

There are plenty of great guard tandems in the American Athletic Conference.

UConn made a case Saturday that it might have the best.

Shabazz Napier scored a career-high 34 points and Ryan Boatright added 21, including 8 in overtime, and the 24th-ranked Huskies beat No. 20 Memphis, 86-81, in Hartford to sweep the season series.


The two guards combined to make 20 of 24 free throws and helped force 18 Memphis turnovers, while UConn (20-5, 8-4) committed just six.

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‘‘You have got to have guards in this game,’’ UConn coach Kevin Ollie said. ‘‘We have some terrific bigs and Memphis has some terrific bigs, but at the end of the day, the guards can make so much happen on the perimeter and break defenses down.’’

The game was tied at 69 at the end of regulation, and UConn opened the extra period on a 7-2 run. But Memphis (19-6, 8-4) cut it to 76-74 after Michael Dixon hit a 3-pointer.

Napier responded a 3-pointers and the Huskies held on.

Trailing, 69-66, with less than a minute to go in regulation, Napier drove the lane, drew a foul, and completed a 3-point play to tie the game.


Boatright’s first point of the game, a free throw, gave him 1,000 for his career.

Yale 66, Princeton 65 — Justin Sears scored 17 points, including a putback with three seconds left in overtime, to rally the Bulldogs (13-9, 7-1 Ivy) past the Tigers in New Haven.

Yale set up a full-court press and forced a turnover by Princeton (14-7, 2-5) with 25 seconds left. Jesse Pritchard missed a 3-pointer, but Sears grabbed the rebound and put it in for the lead.

Brown 62, Penn 55 — Sean McGonagill (15 points) hit back-to-back 3-pointers, sparking a 15-4 run over the final 4:45 that helped the host Bears (13-9, 5-3 Ivy) pull away from the Quakers (6-15, 3-4).

Columbia 69, Dartmouth 59 — Connor Boehm scored 15 points but the visiting Big Green (9-13, 2-6 Ivy) were done in by a 10-1 run by the Lions (15-10, 4-4) in the second half.


Northeastern 60, Charleston 44 — Scott Eatherton had 22 points and 10 rebounds — his NCAA-best 17th double-double of the season — to lead the visiting Huskies (9-18, 6-7 Colonial Athletic).

The 44 points were the fewest Northeastern has allowed since a 58-42 win against Old Dominion on Jan. 24, 2009.

BU 87, Loyola (Md.) 72 — John Papale finished 7 of 7 from the field, including six 3-pointers, en route to 20 points, leading the Terriers (19-8, 12-2 Patriot) past the Greyhounds (10-15, 5-9) in Baltimore.

Holy Cross 72, Lehigh 67 — Justin Burrell scored 13 points, including 7 in the game’s final 30 seconds, to help the visiting Crusaders (16-10, 10-4 Patriot) stave off the Mountain Hawks (13-14, 6-8) and win for the ninth time in 10 games.

Vermont 76, UMBC 52 — Clancy Rugg netted 19 points, Ethan O’Day added 12 with 10 boards, and the Catamounts (17-9, 11-1 America East) eased past the visiting Retrievers (9-17, 5-8) for their 13th win in 14 games.

Brian Voelkel started his school-record 127th straight game, passing the previous mark of 126 set by Martin Klimes (2003-07).

Stony Brook 78, UMass-Lowell 68 — Akeem Williams netted 20 points, eclipsing 2,000 for his career, but the River Hawks (8-17, 6-7 America East) fell to the Seawolves (18-8, 10-2) in Lowell.

Hartford 61, UNH 59 — Mark Nwakamma had 25 points as the host Hawks (13-14, 7-5 America East) pulled away in the second half to beat the Wildcats. Patrick Konan had 15 points for UNH (6-19, 4-8).

Albany 74, Maine 63 — The visiting Black Bears began the second half with a 16-4 burst but couldn’t get over the hump against the Great Danes (13-13, 7-6 America East).

Ethan Mackey led Maine (5-20, 3-10) with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Providence 84 DePaul 61 — Senior Bryce Cotton had 22 points to help the host Friars (17-9, 7-6 Big East) race past the Blue Demons (10-16, 2-11) and snap a three-game skid.

Duquesne 83, URI 71 — In Kingston, R.I., the Rams shot 53.3 percent from the field and tied a season high with 10 3-pointers but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Dukes (11-13, 3-8 Atlantic 10). E.C. Matthews poured in 32 points for Rhode Island (11-15, 2-9).

Central Conn. 74, Sacred Heart 69 — De’Angelo Speech had a career-high 23 points, and the host Blue Devils topped the Pioneers (4-22, 1-10 Northeast).

Central Connecticut (8-16, 4-7) trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half before posting its third double-digit comeback in its last four games. The Blue Devils’ bench outscored Sacred Heart’s, 58-0.

Rider 71, Fairfield 62 — The visiting Broncs (13-12, 9-7 Metro Atlantic) used a 13-5 run over the final five minutes to bury the Stags (5-22, 2-14), who were led by Maurice Barrow’s 22 points.