Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

San Diego's shot shocks Connecticut

Connecticut’s A.J. Price is carried off the court by teammates Hasheem Thabeet, left, and John Lindner after injuring his knee in the first half. The Huskies’ leader in scoring and assists did not return.


Connecticut’s A.J. Price is carried off the court by teammates Hasheem Thabeet, left, and John Lindner after injuring his knee in the first half. The Huskies’ leader in scoring and assists did not return.

TAMPA — De'Jon Jackson's plan was to take the ball straight to the basket, but the 6-foot-1 San Diego sophomore saw Connecticut's 7-3 shot-swatting center Hasheem Thabeet hanging inside.

In so many ways, Jackson and the Toreros knew they didn't measure up to the Big East bullies Friday at the St. Pete Times Forum.

But a mismatch it wasn't.

Not even the Huskies' skyscraping Thabeet can look down on San Diego now. Rather than risk a rejection, Jackson pulled up and sank an 18-foot jumper with 1.2 seconds left in overtime to give 13th seeded San Diego a 70-69 upset of No.  4 Connecticut in the first round of the NCAA Tournament West Region.

Jackson, 1-of-8 before his big shot, got the in-bounds pass with 5.2 seconds left, dribbled right and drained the fadeaway over the Huskies' 6-9 sophomore Stanley Robinson.

"I put on the board, 'Don't let them think, don't let them get a sniff that we're two equal teams,' " UConn coach Jim Calhoun said. "Whether we are or not, I put that down about a lot of teams.

"…We took a two-point lead, but by that point, now you take a chance on a kid making a shot like he made and we give him all kinds of credit for it. I'm sure he's going to remember it for the rest of his life, as well he should. It was a hell of a play."

The second buzzer-beater in as many games was the first NCAA Tournament win for the Toreros (22-13), who play No.  12 Western Kentucky Sunday in the second round.

And UConn was sent packing much sooner than expected. The Huskies hadn't lost in the first round since 1979 and never in Calhoun's 22 seasons (this was his 15th appearance).

Jackson seemed like an unlikely choice for the winning shot but the Toreros' leading scorers, Brandon Johnson and Gyno Pomare, fouled out in overtime. Pomare led San Diego with 22 points and Johnson battled leg cramps to finish with 18 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

The Huskies had one final chance but Jackson intercepted the inbounds pass and was mobbed at midcourt.

"You know, I've been saying this all year about De'Jon Jackson," San Diego coach Bill Grier said. "He's the glue and he's a winner. You know, he does the little things that help us win games that don't necessarily show up in stats. Yet I knew when the ball was in his hands there at the end he was going to make a play to win the game for us and he certainly stepped up and did that."

The winner went pretty much as Grier designed it, except Jackson pulled up for the jumper.

"I kind of saw (Thabeet) dropping, and I was like, 'I can't go in there because he's been blocking everything,' " Jackson said. "So I needed a step back and that was the play."

UConn lost All-Big East point guard A.J. Price with 9:39 left in the first half and the score tied. Calhoun said doctors fear Price may have sustained an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament (see notebook).

Calhoun said Price's absence wasn't the reason for defeat. Rather, he pointed to the Huskies' lack of defensive pressure, especially in the first half. The Toreros shot 47 percent for the game.

SAN DIEGO (22-13): Pomare 10-12 2-2 22, Jones 7-15 0-1 14, B.Johnson 7-19 0-0 18, T.Johnson 4-6 0-0 8, Jackson 2-9 0-0 4, Ginty 0-1 2-4 2, Price 0-0 0-0 0, Lewis 0-0 0-0 0, Houston 1-3 0-0 2, Lozeau 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 31-65 4-7 70.

CONNECTICUT (24-9): Adrien 8-16 1-2 18, Robinson 2-6 1-1 6, Thabeet 5-10 4-7 14, Price 0-1 0-0 0, Austrie 3-9 4-4 10, Beverly 0-0 0-0 0, Wiggins 2-5 0-0 5, Dyson 4-9 6-6 14, Edwards 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 25-58 16-20 69.

Halftime—San Diego 34-29. End Of Regulation—Tied 60. 3-Point Goals—San Diego 4-12 (B.Johnson 4-8, T.Johnson 0-1, Ginty 0-1, Jackson 0-2), Connecticut 3-6 (Adrien 1-1, Wiggins 1-1, Robinson 1-2, Dyson 0-1, Austrie 0-1). Fouled Out—B.Johnson, Pomare. Rebounds—San Diego 31 (Jones 6), Connecticut 41 (Adrien 12). Assists—San Diego 13 (T.Johnson 5), Connecticut 14 (Wiggins 5). Total Fouls—San Diego 21, Connecticut 16. A—15,920.

No. 13 San Diego 70

No. 4 UConn 69


San Diego's shot shocks Connecticut 03/21/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:45am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Rays at Rangers, with Erasmo on the mound again


    Coming off Sunday's 6 1/2-hour, 15-inning marathon win over the Twins, the Rays will have the pitcher who finished that game, Erasmo Ramirez, start tonight's game in Texas, first pitch 8:05 Tampa Bay time.

    Ramirez threw only 12 pitches on Sunday so the Rays decided to let him make his planned start tonight, …

  2. USF baseball heads to Gainesville for regional play


    TAMPA — Had USF's players and coaches been less confident in their NCAA Tournament resume, Monday's selection show might have induced fidgeting, perhaps even frustration.

    South Florida coach Mark Kingston looks on during 2017 American Athletic Conference game Tuesday, May 23, 2017 in Clearwater during the American Athletic Conference. The Bulls won 7-6.
  3. Rays call up Jose De Leon to add depth to bullpen tonight


    The Rays decided that after playing 15 innings Sunday they could use some depth and length in their bullpen after all and are calling up RHP Jose De Leon from Triple-A.

    The Rays have recalled Jose De Leon from Triple-A Durham.
  4. Tiger Woods arrested in Florida on DUI charge, released

    Public Safety

    Tiger Woods was arrested early Monday on a DUI charge in Jupiter, Florida, and spent nearly four hours in a county jail before he was released.

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida.
  5. After state, academics will trump athletics for King ace Brian Lee


    TAMPA — Brian Lee can still see himself on the pitcher's mound at Venice High School. Four years ago he was a freshman left-handed reliever just trying to keep King's state championship dreams alive.

    King senior pitcher Brian Lee gets another shot at a state title.