Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Late free throw puts UConn in American Athletic Conference final

Huge game: Russ Smith, who scores 42, drives to the basket near Houston’s J.J. Richardson during Louisville’s 94-65 victory.

MCT

Huge game: Russ Smith, who scores 42, drives to the basket near Houston’s J.J. Richardson during Louisville’s 94-65 victory.

MEMPHIS — Shabazz Napier made a free throw with 11.1 seconds left as No. 21 Connecticut held off No. 13 Cincinnati 58-56 Friday to advance to the American Athletic Conference tournament final.

The No. 4-seeded Huskies (26-7) were barred from last season's tournament in the Big East because of academic problems but are in their first tournament final since 2011, when they won the national championship. They play another former Big East team, Louisville, for the inaugural American title tonight.

After Napier's free throw, top-seeded Cincinnati (27-6) almost sent it to overtime. But Sean Kilpatrick, guarded by Napier, saw a layup with three seconds left roll off the rim.

'Russdiculous' game puts Louisville in final

Russ Smith's biggest scoring night of his career helped No. 5 Louisville advance to the conference final.

Smith scored 42 as the Cardinals cruised to a 94-65 victory over Houston in the semifinals.

"You can't describe Russ' game. That's 'Russdiculous,' " forward Luke Hancock said of the nickname given to Smith by Louisville coach Rick Pitino. "The moves he makes and the way he gets to the places he does on the floor, the shots he gets for himself and for his teammates is unbelievable."

Smith shot 14-of-22 from the field and 5-of-7 from 3-point range. His final points came on a three-point play in which he hit a reverse layup and converted the free throw.

Smith carried the second-seeded Cardinals (28-5) from the start. He hit his first five shots and had No. 6-seeded Houston (17-16) incorrectly guessing much of the time.

"Our goal was to try and stop him before he got a head full of steam, and certainly he got a head full of steam," said Houston's Danuel House, who had 12 points and 13 rebounds.

"As a good player should, he knocked down the 3-ball. Once his 3 got going, we started just falling for the head fakes and not guarding the way we are capable of guarding and just let him get going."

Late free throw puts UConn in American Athletic Conference final 03/14/14 [Last modified: Saturday, March 15, 2014 12:16am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs WR DeSean Jackson knows only one direction: full speed ahead

    Sports

    TAMPA — DeSean Jackson is the "1."

    Actually, Jackson, the Bucs' latest weapon for quarterback Jameis Winston, with his blazing speed and game-changing splash plays, wears No. 11 in games.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  2. Video preview: Rays open tough road trip facing Twins tonight

    Blogs

    After splitting a four-game series against the Angels to wrap up a winning homestand, the Rays tonight open a nine-game, 10-day roadtrip with the first game of the weekend series with the Twins:

  3. For starters: Rays, Archer take on surprising Twins to open road trip

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 4:11: Interesting that Bourjos is not in lineup vs. LHP Santiago and lefty swinger Dickerson is, but Twins LH starter Hector Santiago has allowed a .500 average (13-for-26) to lefties, but .210 (35-for-167) to righties.

    Here is the Rays lineup:

  4. Hard to believe NFL overtime change is about player safety

    Bucs

    If someone's house was engulfed in flames, would you hand him a fire extinguisher?

    Of course not.

    Fans await the beginning of overtime between the Patriots and Falcons in Super Bowl LI in February. [Associated Press]
  5. Muslim faith greater than fear for Wharton's Rania Samhouri (w/video)

    Tranckandfieldpreps

    TAMPA — Rania Samhouri graduated Monday night from Wharton High School, and many times throughout the ceremony she flashed back to a moment that changed her life.

     Rania Samhouri stretches after track practice on Monday April 24, 2017 at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. Rania, who is Muslim, recently started wearing her hijab during track competitions. She graduates from Wharton this year and will attend University of South Florida on scholarship next year.