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(Friday, November 8th)
Final Score: (18) Connecticut 78, Maryland 77
Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Despite missing three free throws down the stretch, the 18th-ranked Connecticut Huskies managed to sneak past the Maryland Terrapins by a 78-77 margin at the Barclays Center.
The Huskies held a 78-73 lead after Nick Faust and Tyler Olander traded 3- pointers. Dez Wells made two free throws and a jumper around a DeAndre Daniels miss from beyond the arc to get the Terrapins within one with 38.3 seconds to play.
Connecticut was unable to put the game away at the foul line. Ryan Boatright missed the front-end of a one-and-one and Charles Mitchell came down with the defensive rebound. With a chance to put Maryland in front, Wells missed a jumper.
Terrence Samuel followed in Boatright's footsteps by missing the front-end of a one-and-one with 11.3 ticks remaining. Wells failed to capitalize again and Amida Brimah pulled down the defensive rebound. The clock ran out on the Terrapins as Brimah missed a free throw.
Shabazz Napier had 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Huskies (1-0), who went 20-10 last season, but failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament because of poor academic progress rates that predated anyone on the current roster. Niels Giffey and Omar Calhoun added 13 and 10 points, respectively.
"We learned we can dig down deep and pull it out no matter what," Napier said.
Faust ended with 17 points for the Terrapins (0-1), who went 25-13 and lost in the semifinals of the NIT last season. Evan Smotrycz, Wells and Jake Layman each had 13 points.
"This would have been a great win for us because I think Connecticut is going to win a lot of games," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said.
Trailing 67-50, the Terrapins went on an 11-0 run to get back in the game. Layman tallied nine points during the surge to get Maryland within six, 67-61, with 9:37 to play.
Maryland was not discouraged after the Huskies went on a 6-0 spurt to build a 73-61 margin. The Terrapins put together a 12-2 run to get within one. Faust's layup and 3-pointer cut the gap to 75-73 with 2:27 left.
Olander responded with a 3-pointer of his own to give Connecticut a five-point lead.
UConn led throughout the first half and took a 48-36 edge into the locker room.
Holding a 59-50 lead early in the second half, the Huskies went on an 8-0 flurry. Boatright's slam made it a 67-50 contest with 11:52 to go.
Maryland and UConn met on the hardwood for the first time since the pair of sides played in the 2002 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. The Huskies own a 4-2 series advantage ... Connecticut shot 51.7 percent from the floor and went 10- of-23 from beyond the arc ... Mitchell had 12 points.
11/09 02:22:16 ET
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