The Gators took control of the half early, jumping out to a 9-2 start. UConn didn't get on the board until four minutes into the game. Florida's frontcourt defense swarmed the Huskies, never allowing them to get into a rhythm or get any decent looks. At one point, UConn had more turnovers than points.
After a rough start, the Huskies finally came alive, rattling off an 11-0 run to erase a double-digit deficit and get within one point. Meanwhile, Florida's shooting hand went cold, as the Gators failed to score a field goal in nearly five minutes. UConn tied the game at the 3:20 mark with a contested layup by Niels Giffey, drawing a foul in the process. He made his free throw shot to give the Huskies their first lead of the game. Scottie Wilbekin had a chance to tie things up with yet another buzzer beater, but his shot missed the rim with seconds left, resulting in a shot clock violation.
With the Gators committed to shutting down Shabazz Napier, DeAndre Daniels shouldered the load for UConn, scoring 10 points. Napier was bottled up for much of the half, but made a couple of crucial shots down the stretch and finished with five points, making 2-of-4 field goals. Casey Prather led Florida with seven points, while Wilbekin was held to four.