UConn Defeats Cincinnati to Reach Semifinals in an Instant Classic


Bryce Brimhall

UConn freshman Jalen Adams (center) hit a three-quarter court shot in the third overtime to keep the Huskies alive.

If the American Athletic Conference needed more national respect, UConn and Cincinnati made sure they get it.

Jalen Adams sank a prayer from three-quarter court to tie the game up in the third overtime, as the UConn Huskies went on to defeat the Cincinnati Bearcats 104-97 in four overtimes to advance to the semifinals of the AAC Tournament from the Amway Center.

In what was an instant classic, the freshman Adams was able to keep the Huskies season alive, as the game seemed to be over in the third overtime. Cincinnati guard Kevin Johnson hit a three-point basket with .8 seconds left on the clock, but left just enough time for the Adams shot.

“I seen them make a three, I was upset about it, but the least I could do was to get a shot up,” Adams said. “Daniel [Hamilton] passed me the ball, and nobody was in front of me, so I shot the ball as quick as I could and I watched it go in. That was just amazing.”

Adams finished the game with 22 points, while also pulling down eight rebounds.

The two teams provided a heavyweight fight throughout the contest, as both teams provided big shot after big shot. Cincinnati controlled most of the first half. The Bearcats led by as many as 13, before going into the half up by nine points – 36-27.

UConn (22-10, 11-7 American) came out motivated and energized in the second half, and were able to cut the gap to three almost instantly. The rest of the half was back and forth, as regulation ended with Cincinnati’s Troy Caupain’s shot attempt being blocked by UConn’s Amida Brimah.

Caupain led both teams with a career-high 37 points, setting a new record for the highest single-game record for individual scoring in the history of the tournament.

The overtime periods provided tremendous drama and intrigue, as each possession either ended with an incredible shot, or defensive stop. Adam’s shot will forever live in UConn lure according to head coach Kevin Ollie, and the Huskies put their stamp on a potential NCAA Tournament berth.

The fifth seeded Huskies will now take on top-seeded Temple, who defeated USF earlier in the day, Saturday at 3:30 ET.