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Late basket and block propel Miami over UConn

©Associated Press
February 3, 2002

MIAMI -- Elton Tyler made a tie-breaking layup with 13 seconds left and 6-foot-1 Michael Simmons blocked a shot with 5 seconds left to help No.15 Miami beat No.17 Connecticut 68-66 Saturday.

A frantic finish included four lead changes in the last 2:18 and four baskets in the final minute.

Miami avenged a 76-75 loss four weeks ago at Connecticut.

The Huskies lost consecutive games for the first time this season. They were beaten Wednesday at Rutgers, snapping a six-game win streak.

Caron Butler's 3-pointer gave the Huskies their final lead, 64-63, with 55 seconds left. John Salmons banked in a 22-footer with 33 seconds to go to put Miami ahead 66-64.

"It was a bad shot," Salmons said. "If I missed that shot, I think I would have been benched the rest of the year."

"He throws up a Hail Mary that went off the glass," Butler said.

"That decided the game."

After UConn's Taliek Brown tied the score on a layup with 23 seconds left, the Hurricanes quickly pushed the ball upcourt, and Salmons found Tyler breaking in from the weak side for the easy basket.

After a timeout, Simmons blocked Ben Gordon's 3-point try.

Huskies coach Jim Calhoun said Gordon deserved to shoot three free throws because Simmons slapped his arm.

"We got the shot we wanted, and it only traveled 10 feet," Calhoun said. "Nobody on our team can block that shot. Maybe Simmons did."

UConn's Johnnie Selvie grabbed the rebound in the lane. But James Jones stripped the ball, and it rolled out of bounds as time expired.

The crowd of 10,135 was the largest for a Hurricanes game at Miami Arena since Feb.27, 1999, against Rutgers.

Miami has won five consecutive games against ranked teams, including three this season.

Salmons led Miami with 20 points, and Tyler had 16.

Darius Rice, the Hurricanes' leading scorer, was shut out in the first half and finished with six points.

Selvie scored 17 for the Huskies, and Butler added 13 but was 5-of-17 from the field. Freshman Emeka Okafor added 12 points.

Connecticut took a 15-7 lead as the Hurricanes missed 15 of their first 19 shots. But the Hurricanes scored nine consecutive points late in the half, including a 3-pointer by Marcus Barnes for their first lead, 25-24.

Miami led 32-27 at halftime, and there were 17 lead changes in the second half.

UConn guards Brown and Tony Robertson shot a combined 5-for-17. When asked about their play, Calhoun cursed and pounded a table.

"Give Miami some credit," he said. "We're supposed to win every game and be great against everybody. Maybe the other team did a good job on us."

FLA. SOUTHERN 90, SAINT LEO 62: Six players scored in double figures for the visiting Moccasins. Florida Southern shot 53 percent in the first half and led 40-25. Frank Craig led the Lions with 23 points.

TAMPA 63, BARRY 52: The visiting Spartans scored eight consecutive points to take a 46-38 lead midway through second half and did not trail afterward. Sylvere Bryan led Tampa with 20 points.

B-CC 76, MD.-EASTERN SHORE 70: Maurice Riddick scored 16 and Richard Toussaint 14 in the second half for the host Wildcats. Bethune-Cookman snapped a three-game losing streak and gave interim coach Clifford Reed a victory in his debut. Reed replaced Horace Broadnax on Friday.

Broadnax, in his fifth season, resigned to pursue a law career.

Maryland-Eastern Shore led 32-28 at halftime, but the Wildcats shot 63.6 percent from the field in the second half.

Moses Cage and Michael Williams had season-highs of 13 and 11 points, respectively, while Pape Ba grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds for Bethune-Cookman.

GEORGIA ST. 81, JACKSONVILLE 75 (OT): The host Dolphins rallied from 11 down in the second half before losing.

Jacksonville used a 9-0 run to tie the game at 62 with 4:59 to play. Georgia State retook the lead, 69-67, but James Daniels hit an off-balanced baseline jumper with 53 seconds left to send the game into overtime for Jacksonville, which made 3 of 30 3-pointers.

Thomas Terrell led the Panthers with 22 points and seven rebounds.

STETSON 72, CAMPBELL 69: Ravii Givens hit a shot and two free throws in the closing seconds for the host Hatters. Jonte' Edwards gave the Camels a 69-68 lead with 59 seconds left, but Givens scored the final four points. Ricky McConnell had a career-high 22 points and 14 rebounds for Stetson.

FAU 67, TROY ST. 66: Jeff Cowans scored 17 and hit the go-ahead basket with 3.5 seconds left.

With 45 seconds left and the game tied at 65, Lacedrick Pettway made the first of two free throws to give Troy State a one-point lead. He missed the second, though, giving Florida Atlantic a chance to take the lead.

Before the Owls could get off a shot, though, Pettway stole the ball and got fouled. He could have given his team a three-point lead but missed two more free throws.

Raheim Brown missed a layup, but Cowans got the rebound with 5 seconds left and hit a 3-footer.

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