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UConn senior Shabazz Napier delivered another dramatic performance in his ongoing Masterpiece Theater.
Napier's game-winning, buzzer-beating jumper handed No. 12 UConn a 65-64 victory over No. 15 Florida before a raucous Gampel Pavilion crowd.
The Huskies rallied from a 7-point second half deficit and improved to 8-0 overall.
Napier scored six of his game-high 26 points in the final 33 seconds, including converting a four-point play.
"One of the big time players to ever put this jersey on and walk on the court at Gampel," coach Kevin Ollie said.
Some post-game reaction, notes and quotes:
-- First, check out the attached video of Napier's post-game press conference. He had some interesting things to say.
-- Junior DeAndre Daniels had the biggest offensive rebound of the game, tipping Napier's miss back into the lane on the game's final possession. Napier was there to catch the ball and hit the game-winning shot.
"Yeah, I was trying to tip it out to Shabazz," Daniels said with a smile. "I think they should put it in the books as an assist."
Napier was just happy that Daniels went hard to the boards. He said he knew the shot was going in when he took it.
"I was just in the right place at the right time," Napier said.
-- A bruising Florida dominated inside, scoring 32 of its points in the paint. The Gators held a 34-26 rebounding edge.
UConn responded by firing away from the perimeter, sinking 11 of 24 from 3-point range. Napier went 5-for-8 from beyond the arc.
"You look at the stat sheet, and I don't know how we do it," Ollie said. "They shoot 49 percent and out-rebound us but, at the end of the day, we get it done. It's a magical team."
-- The Huskies have won four games by a combined five points this season.
"We have tremendous heart," Napier said. "We just believe in every opportunity that we get that we're going to be successful.
-- Senior Niels Giffey on Napier getting a second chance to win the game after badly misfiring on his first attempt: "Sometimes it's not really fair. He puts the ball up against four guys and somehow it ends up back in his hands."
-- Gampel Pavilion was sold-out for the first time this season. And the fans were crazy loud at times and gave the Huskies a huge lift.
"In the three years I've been here, that's the best I've seen Gampel," Daniels said. "It was very loud. Without the fans we wouldn't be able to pull that game out."
Giffey: "The fans were unbelievable. It was insane. ... They were just amazing today."
-- About 25 NBA scouts attended the game. It's a safe bet that Napier helped his draft status.
-- UConn sophomore Omar Calhoun remained in a shooting slump. He went 1-for-5 from the field and had just two points while playing a season-low 15 minutes. He's 7-for-31 over the last five games.
-- Ollie did a good job rotating his big men in and out of the lineup against a stronger and tougher frontcourt. Both Phil Nolan and Tyler Olander fouled out.
"That was a grown man's game with their bigs down low," Daniels said.
-- Up next: UConn hosts Maine in Hartford on Friday.
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.