Shabazz Napier hit a jumper from the free throw line as time expired to keep No. 12 Connecticut undefeated with a 65-64 victory over No. 15 Florida on Monday night.
Napier, limping on a left ankle he hurt during a four-point play with 33 seconds left, escaped a trap around 30 feet from the basket and got off a wild shot that missed but was tipped blindly back by DeAndre Daniels. Napier grabbed the ball and let go a left-handed jumper that went through as the horn sounded and set off a deafening cheer from the sellout crowd of 10,167 at Gampel Pavilion.
Napier finished with 26 points on 9 of 15 shooting including making 5 of 8 from 3-point range.
“Growing up I wanted to be Superman. Everyone wants to be a hero,” he said, surrounded by media after a lovefest with the UConn fans in Gampel Pavilion.
“I just felt I was fortunate enough to be in the right spot at the right time.”
The Huskies (8-0) and Florida (6-2), which had a five-game winning streak snapped, battled down the stretch exchanging the lead six times in the final six minutes.
Daniels had 14 points for Connecticut, which was outrebounded 34-26, but was able to make up a size difference with its strong guard play on the perimeter.
This was Connecticut’s first game this season against a ranked opponent. Florida’s previous loss was in its only game against a ranked team, Wisconsin.
Casey Prather had 19 points and seven rebounds for the Gators, while Patric Young had 17 points and seven rebounds.
Florida’s Scottie Wilbekin, playing in his third game of the season after being suspended for the first four, had 15 points but he injured an ankle with 3:01 to play, was taken to the locker room and never returned.
NO. 17 IOWA STATE 99, AUBURN 70: Dustin Hogue set career highs with 22 points and 16 rebounds, and 17th-ranked Iowa State pounded Auburn for its sixth straight win.
Melvin Ejim added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Cyclones (6-0), who are the Big 12’s last unbeaten team.
Iowa State used a 27-5 run midway through the first half to build a 15-point lead. It jumped ahead by as much as 60-33 early in the second half in cruising to its fourth win by at least 29 points.
Chris Denson had 27 points for Auburn (4-2), which shot 35.5 percent and got beat on the boards 47-36.