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UConn and Boston College staged another thriller in the long rivalry between New England programs.
And the Huskies won for the 29th time in the last 32 meetings in the series, scoring a 72-70 victory in the 2K Sports Classic semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York. They move on to Friday's championship game starting at 7:30 p.m.
"We got out with a win and we are happy with it," senior Shabazz Napier said.
Some post-game news, notes, quotes and video:
-- UConn announced some good news just prior to tip-off. The Huskies received a sign letter of intent from Sam Cassell Jr., a 6-4 guard out of Baltimore. Daniel Hamilton, a 6-7 forward from Los Angeles, signed a financial aid agreement.
"I'm very pleased and excited to have these two young men joining our basketball program," coach Kevin Ollie said. "They are excellent players and more importantly, high-character people. I expect both Sam and Daniel to do great things at the University of Connecticut."
Through three games this season, Cassell is averaging 18 points, five rebounds and 5.3 assists at Chipola College in Marianna,Fla. He'll have three years of eligibility remaining.
"Sam is just an outstanding guard who can do a number of different things on the basketball court," Ollie said. "He brings a level of maturity after two years in junior college. He'll be a great addition to our team, especially with his experience."
Hamilton, who's considered a top-25 recruit, plays his high school ball at St. John'sBosco in Los Angeles. He averaged 14.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 7.1 assists last season.
"Daniel is just full of versatility," Ollie said. "He's 6-7 and can do everything. … just an exceptional basketball player. It's always great to have a West Coast guy come to the East Coast."
-- The Huskies had several season lows tonight, including field goal percentage (39.3), assists (7), bench points (9) and three-pointes (3). Their reserves came into the game averaging 32 points per game.
On the plus side, they also had a season-low three turnovers.
"We took care of the ball…," Ollie said. "That's how you stay in the game by not turning the ball over with free throws made, and being efficient on the offensive end. We did that tonight."
-- For the second straight game, junior DeAndre Daniels led the team in scoring, finishing with 23 points. He had a season-high 24 points versus BostonUniversity on Sunday.
"I stayed aggressive on offense and my teammates were looking for me and I was able to get a couple of good looks and knock down my shots tonight," Daniels said.
-- The choppy game turned into a free throw shooting contest. UConn converted 25 of 29 while BC made 24-of-25. Forty fouls were called.
Two of UConn's misses came in the final 30 seconds, both by Napier who went 8-for-10 overall. Napier had 20 points overall.
-- Senior Niels Giffey scored a point in the second half for the first time this season, sinking a 3-pointer. But he battled foul trouble and had just five points.
-- UConn lost the rebounding battle, 33-32, to a team that came into the game with a minus 10.5 rebounding margin. Daniels led the way with six.
It was the first time this season that someone other than Napier led the team in rebounding.
Today’s American Athletic Conference Championship semifinal doubleheader is underway here at the XL Center in Hartford. A crowd in the 12,000-13,000 range is expected for the UConn-Tulsa game. Tip-off time is 5 p.m.