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Connecticut vs Villanova

Napier (25 points) leads UConn to victory over Villanova

CBSSports.com wire reports

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- First Duke, then Syracuse. Now second-seeded Villanova has been eliminated.

The Wildcats became the highest seed to fall in the NCAA tournament so far after Shabazz Napier scored 25 points in leading No. 7 seed Connecticut to a 77-65 victory in a third-round game Saturday night.

Napier had 21 points in the second half and helped put the game away by hitting three consecutive 3-pointers to give the Huskies a 54-45 lead with 6:08 remaining. Napier was limited to 8 minutes in the first half by foul trouble, and he avoided a major scare when he briefly left the game after hurting his right shin with 4:01 left.

Connecticut (28-8) advanced to the East Regional semifinals in New York City, where they'll play the winner of Sunday's game between third-seeded Iowa State and No. 6 seed North Carolina.

UConn coach Kevin Ollie improved to 2-0 in his tournament debut, two years since taking over after Jim Calhoun stepped down because of health issues, and a year after the Huskies were barred from postseason play because of academic sanctions.

Ryan Arcidiacono scored 18 points for Villanova (29-5) in a matchup of two former Big East rivals.

The Wildcats' loss came on the heels of another upset in Buffalo. The game was played immediately after Dayton, the 11th seed in the South Region, beat third-seeded Syracuse 55-53.

UConn advanced to the round of 16 for the 17th time in its 32nd tournament appearance.

And the Huskies did it in their first season as members of the American Athletic Conference after the Big East was realigned following a series of defections.

Lasan Kromah scored 12 points for UConn, while DeAndre Daniels, Ryan Boatright and Terrence Samuel each had 11.

Villanova remained a Big East holdover, but wound up being bounced by a familiar foe.

Napier, a member of UConn's 2011 national championship team, continued to lead the Huskies after he scored 24 points in an 89-81 overtime win against Saint Joseph's in the second round Thursday.

The teams traded leads four times in the opening 5:25 of the second half, with Daniels putting UConn ahead for good, 37-36, with a layup.

Connecticut eventually took control in a span of 1:32, during which it hit three consecutive 3-pointers to build a 51-40 lead. Kromah began the surge and Napier capped it with a pair of 3s -- and struck a pose for the cameras after hitting the second one with 8:59 left.

Napier's injury initially appeared serious after his leg got tangled up with Hilliard while driving to the basket at the other end. Napier limped off and then sat on the bench in frustration, holding a towel to his eyes.

Napier, however, only missed about 40 seconds of action, and showed no sign of being bothered by the injury on the Huskies' next trip up the floor.

Holding the ball atop the 3-point arc, he blew past a defender while driving into the paint and then flipped in an underhanded reverse high off the backboard to put UConn ahead 60-51 with 2:19 remaining.

James Bell scored 14 points and Darrun Hilliard added 13 for Villanova.

Poor shooting continued to haunt the Wildcats, who were coming off a 75-53 win over Milwaukee on Thursday.

After hitting five of their first eight attempts through the first 6:11, the Wildcats closed the half going 2 of 15. Their offense went stone cold after Hilliard hit a 3 to put them up 19-9 with 11:30 left.

Villanova went 11:24 without a field goal, missing 10 straight shots before Arcidiacono hit a 3-pointer with 5.9 seconds left in the first half that cut the Huskies' lead to 25-24.

Villanova was down 42-36 with 11:48 left when Hilliard drove into an opening on the right wing and, as he went up to shoot, the ball slipped out of his hands and bounced out of bounds.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Connecticut #7 «255277
Villanova #2 244165
UCONN:S. Napier 25 Pts
UCONN:N. Giffey 11 Reb
UCONN:S. Napier 3 Ast
NOVA:R. Arcidiacono 18 Pts
NOVA:D. Ochefu 8 Reb
NOVA:R. Arcidiacono 6 Ast

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Shabazz Napier
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Connecticut Huskies
N. Giffey, G-F371-32-211224
R. Boatright, G373-105-873211
D. Daniels, F284-120-050111
S. Napier, G259-133-453325
P. Nolan, F60-00-01010
L. Kromah, G-F263-64-411212
T. Samuel, G212-57-811311
A. Brimah, C201-30-01032
L. Tolksdorf, F10-01-20001
T. Olander, FDid Not Play
O. Calhoun, GDid Not Play
R. Purvis, GDid Not Play
K. Facey, FDid Not Play
P. Lenehan, GDid Not Play
T. Watts, GDid Not Play
N. Amilo, FDid Not Play
Totals 23-5222-2832101777
Villanova Wildcats
R. Arcidiacono, G374-107-936318
D. Hilliard, G353-74-542513
J. Bell, G334-112-250514
D. Ochefu, F261-32-28024
J. Pinkston, F254-103-642311
J. Hart, G240-30-03020
K. Jenkins, F101-20-01013
D. Ennis, G61-30-00032
T. Chennault, G40-20-01000
N. McMahon, GDid Not Play
P. Farrell, FDid Not Play
H. Lowe, GDid Not Play
D. Reynolds, FDid Not Play
Totals 18-5118-2429102465
American Athletic
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
E. Carolina0-03-3196
So. Florida0-02-5265

Big East
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Seton Hall0-05-1158
St. Johns0-04-2159
Other games
PITT 45 Final
FLA 61
STL 51 Final
LOU 66
TEX 65 Final
NDST 44 Final
DAYT 55 Final
SYR 53
ORE 77 Final
HARV 73 Final