Arlington, TX, United States (4E Sports) – DeAndre Daniels had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Connecticut Huskies past overall No. 1 seed Florida, 63-53 Saturday at AT&T Stadium.
Shabazz Napier finished with 12 points and six assists and got the better of Scott Wilbekin in a matchup of conference players of the year.
UConn shot 55.8 percent (24 of 43) from the field while Florida just had 38.8 percent from the field (19 of 49) and was just 1 for 10 from 3-point range.
Florida’s suffocating defense followed by a 7-0 run that was capped by a drive by Scott Wilbekin with 9:47 to play allowed them a 16-4 lead.
UConn (31-8) made four straight shots, and three of them from beyond the 3-point line with two by Daniels, igniting a 17-5 run for its first lead of the game, 21-20 with 3:18 left in the half.
A fadeaway jumper by Daniels put UConn up 25-22 at halftime .
UConn started the second half with a 6-0 run capped by a Napier 3-pointer to widen the gap at 31-22.
The Huskies stretched the lead to 37-27 with 13:10 left after a Ryan Boatright driving layup.
Florida (36-3) came within 43-40 with 8:03 left, but never threatened again.
Uconn outscored Florida 8-1 in the next sequence to make it 51-41 with 5:37 left.
Patric Young scored six points in a 6-2 burst to make it 53-47 with still 4:09 left to keep the hopes alive for Florida.
But six unanswered points by UConn buried Florida 59-47 with 2:04 remaining.
Young had 19 points to lead Florida. Wilbekin and 3-point specialist Michael Frazier II were shut down on offense, combining for just seven points.
UConn will play the winner of the Wisconsin-Kentucky game for the national championship Monday.