Mar 11, 2016 10:28 PM
4 OTS! Adams' heave sparks UConn over Cincinnati 104-97
The Associated Press
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Jalen Adams wasn't about to have his season end without a fight.
Taking an inbounds pass with less than a second to play, Adams took a couple of dribbles and banked in a 3-pointer from beyond half-court to end the third overtime and UConn went on to beat Cincinnati 104-97 in the fourth extra period Friday in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament.
"I've got to get a shot off," Adams said of his thoughts when he had the ball in his hands. "If it goes in, it would be amazing, and if we lost at least we would go out fighting."
The Huskies (22-10) moved into the semifinals Friday against top-seeded Temple and gave their NCAA Tournament hopes a huge boost. Cincinnati fell to 22-10, but still has a shot to get into the NCAA Tournament.
The Bearcats appeared to have the game won when Kevin Johnson hit a 3-pointer from the left wing in the closing seconds of the third overtime.
"I saw them make a 3, I was upset about it, but the least I could do was to get a shot up," Adams said. "Daniel 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. And that was just amazing."
Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin wasn't convinced there should have been a fourth overtime.
"In 0.8 you can't catch the ball, take two steps and then shoot it," he said. "You can't catch it, turn, bring it below your waist, and then shoot it with enough force to shoot it 80 feet in 0.8 seconds. The clock didn't start nearly on time. I've already watched it five times. So it's unfortunate that that happened to my kids.
"So, in defense of my kids, I'm obviously upset, but like I say, congratulations to (UConn coach) Kevin (Ollie) and his team."
Adams was also the hero at the end of the second overtime, floating a layup over a big Cincinnati defender to tie the game at 75 with 5.5 seconds left. Just before that, Troy Caupain floated a difficult left-handed hook shot in the lane over a defender with 14.9 seconds left.
And the miracle heave wasn't the end of the heroics for Adams. He scored eight of his career-high 24 points in the fourth overtime.
He made two baskets, sandwiched around his key offensive rebound that led two free throws by Sterling Gibbs that put UConn up for good, 92-91 with 3:09 left. Adams also made four free throws in the 33 seconds.
"That was amazing," Adams said. "That was the best game, and the longest game."
Daniel Hamilton had the last two free throws to seal it and finish with a career-high 32 points. He also had 12 rebounds and eight assists.
Caupain finished with a career-high 37 points.
"The game's never over until it's over. Until one team wins," Caupin said. "But we thought the game was over too early and he hit a shot that put it into another overtime, which let us know that the game wasn't over and we had to fight another round, another battle. I wouldn't say that we gave up. We fought to the finish. The game ended how it did."
Cincinnati led 36-27 at the half but UConn put together a 16-2 run, taking a 51-45 on two free throws by Shonn Miller with 11 minutes left in regulation. Hamilton's two free throws at 3:36 put the UConn lead at seven but Caupain made two free throws with 35 seconds left to tie the game.
Both teams missed shots late in the first overtime, which ended at 67-67.
UConn: The Huskies lost a six-OT game to Syracuse in the quarterfinals of the 2009 Big East Tournament. ... The Huskies were 22 of 24 from the foul line and 10 of 26 behind the arc Friday. ... Gibbs and Rodney Purvis had 14 points apiece while Miller and Amida Brimah each scored 10.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats were 25 of 34 from the foul line and 10 of 26 behind the arc. ... Farad Cobb had 14 points, Octavius Ellis 13, Gary Clark 12 and Coreontae DeBerry 10. Clark had 12 rebounds and Ellis and Caupain 10 for a 54-47 rebounding advantage. ... Cincinnati won both regular-season games, by one at UConn and five at home.
UConn meets top-seeded Temple in the semifinals on Saturday.
Cincinnati hopes for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.