Sunday, August 19, 2018
Sports

UConn's winning formula: 80-footer to tie, 4 OTs to win

ORLANDO — Jalen Adams wasn't about to have his season end without a fight.

Taking an inbounds pass with less than a second to play, Adams took a couple of dribbles and banked in a 3-point basket as the buzzer went off to end the third overtime and UConn went on to beat Cincinnati 104-97 Friday in four overtimes in the American Athletic Conference quarterfinals.

"I've got to get a shot off," Adams said of his thoughts when he had the ball before launching his 80-footer. "If it goes in, it would be amazing, and if we lost, at least we would go out fighting."

The Huskies (22-10) moved into today's semifinals against top-seeded Temple and gave their NCAA Tournament hopes a huge boost.

The Bearcats (22-10) appeared to have the game won when Kevin Johnson hit a 3 from the left wing with 0.8 seconds left in the third overtime.

"I saw them make a 3, I was upset about it, but the least I could do was to get a shot up," Adams said. "Daniel (Hamilton) passed me the ball, and nobody was in front of me, so I shot the ball as quick as I could and I watched it go in. And that was just amazing."

Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin wasn't convinced there should have been a fourth overtime.

"In 0.8 you can't catch the ball, take two steps and then shoot it," he said. "You can't catch it, turn, bring it below your waist, and then shoot it with enough force to shoot it 80 feet in 0.8 seconds. The clock didn't start nearly on time. I've already watched it five times. So it's unfortunate that that happened to my kids.

"So, in defense of my kids, I'm obviously upset, but like I say, congratulations to (UConn coach) Kevin (Ollie) and his team."

Adams was also the hero at the end of the second overtime, floating a layup over a UC defender to tie it at 75 with 5.5 seconds left. Just before that, Cincinnati's Troy Caupain floated a left-handed hook shot in the lane over a defender with 14.9 seconds left.

And the miracle heave wasn't the end of the heroics for Adams. He scored eight of his career-high 24 in the fourth overtime.

He made two baskets, sandwiched around his key offensive rebound that led two free throws by Sterling Gibbs that put UConn up for good 92-91 with 3:09 left. Adams also made four free throws down the stretch.

"That was amazing," he said. "That was the best game and the longest game."

Hamilton had the last two free throws to seal it and finish with a career-high 32. He also had 12 rebounds and eight assists.

Tulane 72, Houston 69: Cameron Reynolds made a go-ahead 3 with 11 seconds left as the No. 10 seed Green Wave (12-21) upset the second-seeded Cougars (22-9).

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