Breaking down Game 1: UConn 63, Florida 53

04/05/2014 9:40 PM

11/12/2014 4:34 PM

Why UConn won: UConn’s guard tandem of Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright applied tremendous pressure, limiting Florida’s starting guard duo of Scottie Wilbekin and Michael Frazier to just 3 of 12 field goals and only seven points. After a sluggish start, the Huskies were patient offensively and wound up shooting 55.8 percent from the floor.

Key player: UConn forward DeAndre Daniels led all scorers with 20 points and all rebounders with 10. He also was 9 of 14 from the field, including 2 of 5 from 3-point territory. Whenever Florida would make a run in the second half, Daniels was there to get the Huskies back on track.

Key stat: Florida dominated early, leading 16-4 with under nine minutes remaining in the first half. But the Huskies caught fire and went on a 27-6 run bridging the first and second halves for a 31-22 lead.

Quotable

“Everybody was at a level five, and that was the most important thing. Whomever I had out in the game, it was positive and they were productive. I told you they are fighters. So, when we get down, we keep fighting and keep believing in each other.” — UConn coach Kevin Ollie

Notables

• Could a pair of former Dallas Mavericks guards be holding championship trophies soon? Ollie played for the Mavs in 1997 and has advanced to Monday’s NCAA championship. Jason Kidd played for the Mavs from 1994-96 and again from 2008-12, and his Brooklyn Nets are one of the hottest teams in the NBA.
• This makes bookend losses to UConn for Florida. UConn won 65-64 on Dec. 2 on a 15-foot jumper by Shabazz Napier at the buzzer. That was the last time Florida lost a game — until Saturday.
• While UConn was spreading the wealth with 12 assists on its 24 baskets, Florida accumulated just three assists on its 19 buckets. The Huskies also were 5 of 12 on 3-pointers to just 1 of 10 for the Gators. — Dwain Price

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