The Great Escape: Huskies' late surge thwarts Albany's upset bid
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Marcus Williams scored 16 of his game-high 21 points in the second half, as top-seeded Connecticut used a furious rally in the final 12 minutes to erase a 12-point deficit and overcome a tenacious Albany team, 72-59, in the first round of the Washington, D.C. bracket in the NCAA Tournament.
Denham Brown contributed 17 points and Josh Boone scored 13 for the Huskies (28-3), who were beaten by Syracuse in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament last week and were slow out of the gate Friday night before putting together a 28-5 run.
The Wachovia Center was abuzz about possibly the biggest upset in NCAA Tournament history. A No. 1 seeded team has never lost to a 16 seed - a total of 88 games. However, with just under 12 minutes left, Albany built a 50-38 lead.
Williams, though, came through with a three-pointer and a layup to bring the Huskies within 50-45.
Ten straight points from the Huskies gave them the lead at 55-52 after another Williams three from the top of the circle with 5:48 left. The spurt concluded with a jumper by Brown with inside three minutes left to extend the Huskies to a 66-55 lead and end the Great Danes' opportunity at the monumental upset.
The Huskies will play either UAB or Kentucky in the second round Sunday.
Jamar Wilson had 19 points to lead the Great Danes (21-11), who made it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history this year thanks to their 80-67 victory over the Vermont Catamounts in the American East Conference Tournament. Kirsten Zoellner and Lucious Jordan each added 12 points.
Albany bolted to an 11-5 lead early following a layup from Wilson, with just under six minutes elapsed. The Huskies came right back and extended to an 18-15 lead after a Brown jumper. However, UConn couldn't shake the Great Danes and led just 31-30 at the half.
A 13-0 run by the Great Danes moved them to a 43-33 lead. Jason Siggers ended the push with a three-pointer from the left corner, as time was about to expire on the shot clock.
A runner by Wilson made it 50-38 with 1:34 left.
UConn shot 58.7 percent from the field and outrebounded Albany, 28-22...Albany had 12 turnovers to 16 for the Huskies...Jordan had four of Albany's 11 steals...Williams was 7-of-11 from the floor.ALBANY UCONN