Storrs, CT (SportsNetwork.com) - Shabazz Napier poured in a game-high 26 points while shooting 7-for-11 from 3-point range to lead No. 19 Connecticut to a 69-63 victory over Rutgers.
Niels Giffey scored 16 points for the Huskies (24-6, 12-5 American), who have won their last three and will face Louisville in their regular-season finale on Saturday.
Myles Mack tallied 16 points, five assists and five rebounds for the Scarlet Knights (11-9, 5-12), who have lost five of their last six tilts. Wally Judge scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and J.J. Moore contributed 11 points.
"I'm definitely proud. I knew we were going to come out and try to play our best game. It's a special feeling when you're a senior and it's your last game at home. You want to give it your all, and I think that's what everyone did," said Napier about senior night.
The teams traded buckets to open the second half before a 10-5 burst gave Connecticut a 51-44 lead. However, the Scarlet Knights pulled within three, 56-53, with 11:26 left to play.
The Huskies then used an 8-0 surge to stake themselves to an 11-point lead with just over six minutes remaining. Despite outscoring UConn 10-5 down the wire, Rutgers could not get closer than four points.
"We've got to get back to our defense. Our defense wasn't locked in like it was with Cincinnati. We need to rebound better. These are some things that we're going work on before we get to Louisville," said UConn head coach Kevin Ollie.
UConn led by a 10-4 score 4:51 into the game as the Scarlet Knights struggled early, shooting just 1-for-9 from the field to start. Rutgers, however, then went on an 11-3 run to take the lead. ' The Huskies answered with four consecutive 3-pointers to take the lead right back. Rutgers came right back and ended the first half with three consecutive threes to trail 34-31 at the break.
"They have a terrific ball team, a terrific player, terrific shooters. And for us to do everything we had to do to knock at the door to give ourselves a chance, we did, pretty much," said Rutgers head coach Eddie Jordan.
Rutgers outrebounded UConn, 37-28 ... The Scarlet Knights face Cincinnati on Saturday in their regular-season finale ... UConn went 12-for-25 from 3-point distance, while Rutgers shot 8-for-18 from beyond the arc ... The Huskies lead the all-time series, 37-14.