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. Storm routs Cleveland

    Storm

    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  2. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  3. Rowdies shut out Charleston

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  4. Rays journal: Former closer Sergio Romo acquired from Dodgers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays made a move to help the bullpen Saturday night when they acquired RHP Sergio Romo, who had been designated for assignment last week by the Dodgers.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi (23) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 7, 2017.
  5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. backs wife's "not worth risk'' opinion on Daytona

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Saturday defended his wife's Twitter post — and blamed himself for putting her in a position where she believed she had to speak out and upset some of his fans.

    Amy Earnhardt worries about Dale Jr.’s concussions.