Memphis and UConn showed that their is life after the Big East on Saturday as Shabazz Napier's career-high 34 points led the Huskies to an 86-81 win before a sell-out crowd of 16,294 fans at the XL Center in Hartford.
It was a crucial game in the American Athletic Confernence as the Huskies picked up their 20th win of the season and improved to 20-5, 8-4 in the AAC with two wins over Memphis.
The Huskies needed to rally in the final minute as a Napier 3-point play tied the game at 69-69 with less than 40 seconds left. The Huskies also had a chance to win in regulation as Napier's three-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out.
That only set up for more heroics in the overtime. With running mate Ryan Boatright scoring 21 points, the Huskies withstood a tremendous game from Memphis' Joe Jackson, who had 24 points and an explosive game from Geron Johnson, who added 15 and eight.
The Huskies won despite allowing Memphis to shoot 55 percent from the floor and managed 20 fastbreak points. The Huskies owned the free-throw line holding a 29-6 advantage in makes. Napier was 10 of 21 shooting, 5 of 12 from 3-point range and had five rebounds and four assists. Boatright shook off a poor shooting night to attack the rim and was 11 of 12 from the free-throw line.