Brandon Randolph scored 20 points, including making seven straight crucial free throws in the final 2:13 of the game, as the Arizona Wildcats fended off a late Connecticut rally to beat the Huskies 76-72 on Sunday afternoon in Hartford, Conn.
Randolph scored 14 of his points in the second half, and Chase Jeter scored nine of his 14 total points in the second half as well, as the Wildcats (6-2) never trailed in the second half but couldn’t pull away from the Huskies (6-2), either.
The Wildcats took their largest lead of the game of eight points at 62-54 on a Randolph layup with just over eight minutes to play.
But the Huskies staged a rally in part because of Tyler Polley, who hit his first 3-pointer of the game with two minutes to play to trim the Wildcats’ lead to 66-64. After Randolph hit all three free throws when he was fouled attempting a trey, Polley hit another trey with 1:09 left to cut the deficit back to 69-67.
The Wildcats, who hit 19 of 22 free throws for the game, made 12 of 13 in the final two-plus minutes to ice the game.
Jalen Adams led the Huskies with 21 points, and Eric Cobb, who entered averaging only 6.1 points per game, scored 12 off the bench. Christian Vital added 11 points.
Ryan Luther, who made 3 of 4 free throws for the Wildcats late in the game, finished with 10 points, as did fellow reserve Dylan Smith.
Luther made a layup to give the Wildcats a 20-14 lead about midway through the first half, but the Huskies went on an 8-0 run, led by Sidney Wilson’s five points, including a 3-pointer to give Connecticut a 22-20 lead with 9:19 left in the half.
Starting a few minutes later, however, Arizona outscored Connecticut 13-6, going from trailing the Huskies 27-26 with about seven minutes left to leading 40-33 at the 3:24 mark. The lead settled at 42-38 at the break.
Both teams shot better than 50 percent from the floor in the first half, but the Huskies finished at 48.3 percent for the game, including 8 of 24 on 3-pointers. The Wildcats finished at 45.8 percent, including only 17.6 percent (3 of 17) from long distance
—Field Level Media