STORRS -- Behind an offense that sputtered late in the second half and a defense that was letting just about anything into the paint, No. 24 Connecticut managed to change the game in one critical sequence at the end of regulation and ultimately win 86-81 on Saturday afternoon against Memphis in overtime.
Trailing by three with 52 seconds left, Huskies guard Shabazz Napier found the lane and laid it in as he was fouled by Geron Johnson. When Napier tied the game, Memphis had a shot to win it, and predictably, attacked the rim.
This time, in a game where the Huskies allowed 42 points inside and were out rebounded 38-28, forward DeAndre Daniels was there to block Shaq Goodwin. A loose ball ensued. Both teams fought for possession. A tie-up occurred, and somewhere in the meantime, the shot clock expired.
Napier's three-point attempt that would have won it at the buzzer rimed out, but the overtime was all UConn.
"We're always fighting," head coach Kevin Ollie said. "They stayed in the middle of the ring. We didn't knock Memphis out until the end of the game."
Huskies guard Ryan Boatright scored eight points in the extra session, and Napier hit a huge three-pointer with under two minutes left in overtime.
UConn completed a season sweep of the 20th-ranked Tigers with the win. The Huskies also moved into a tie with Memphis for fourth place in the American Athletic Conference, just a game behind No. 23 SMU.
"All you could ask for is a chance to tie or win the game," Memphis coach Josh Pastner said. "That's just kind of the way it goes."
Napier led the Huskies on the court and in the stat sheet with 34 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals. Boatright shot 11-12 from the free throw line and scored 21 points to go with six assists of his own.
"I was just getting open shots," Napier said. "I was trying to do my best on the offensive end and the defensive end. They were getting me open with a lot of picks."
UConn also forced Memphis into 18 turnovers, 11 coming on steals, to help balance out a 55 percent shooting night for the Tigers.
Johnson and Joe Jackson of Memphis made this game a classic battle of the backcourts. Jackson had team highs of 21 points and seven assists, and Johnson added 15 points and eight rebounds.