No. 18 Connecticut holds off Indiana 59-58



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NEW YORK (AP) - Shabazz Napier scored 27 points, including 11 over the final 7 minutes, to lead No. 18 Connecticut to a 59-58 victory over Indiana on Friday night in the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project.

Napier's driving basket with 1:34 left to play turned out to be the final points of the game.

Indiana turned the ball over twice and Yogi Ferrell missed a jumper in that span. Napier missed a 3-pointer and was called for an offensive foul in the hectic finish that had the crowd at Madison Square Garden standing for the final 90 seconds.

Indiana (5-1) had the last scoring chance. Ferrell missed a jumper with 10 seconds and the rebound rolled out of bounds in front of the Indiana bench off a Connecticut player. The clock showed .2 seconds and after the officials watched the replay, they restored it to .7 seconds.

Jeremy Hollowell inbounded the ball to Noah Vonleh, but his jumper was late and the Huskies (6-0) had the win.

Napier, the tournament MVP, was 10 of 14 from the field, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range. He was the only double-figure scorer for the Huskies, but he struggled from the free throw line (3 of 7) and had seven turnovers.

Still, every big play down the stretch was his.

Ferrell, who was hounded all game by Napier and Ryan Boatright, had 19 points on 6-of-19 shooting, 2 of 6 from beyond the arc, and he committed five of Indiana's 19 turnovers.

The defense was intense on both ends. Indiana shot 40.8 percent (20 of 49), while the Huskies shot 39.6 percent (21 of 53).

After Napier made it 59-58, Indiana's Devin Davis had the ball stolen from him by Tyler Olander. Napier missed a 3-point attempt but Connecticut again stole the ball, this time it was Lasan Kromah with 30 seconds to go.

With everybody anticipating the Hoosiers fouling since the shot clock was off, they instead played defense and Ferrell drew a charge from Napier.

That set up Indiana's final two chances.

The tournament win was Connecticut's ninth in Madison Square Garden, The others were an NIT and a record seven Big East championships.

Connecticut advanced with a 72-70 semifinal win over Boston College while Indiana beat Washington 102-84 in the other.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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JIM O'CONNELL

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