Connecticut's Steven Enoch, left, stops a drive to the basket by Georgetown's Isaac Copeland, center, as Connecticut's Omar Calhoun, right, defends, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Phot
Jessica Hill
January 23, 2016

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Rodney Purvis was never part of the old Big East, but he now has a place in the history of the UConn-Georgetown rivalry.

The UConn junior stole the ball from Jessie Govan with 18 seconds left and then made two free-throws at the other end to help the Huskies prevail 68-62 Saturday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd at the XL Center.

Purvis finished with 17 points for the Huskies, who overcame a 19 percent (4-for-21) shooting effort in the second half by repeatedly going to the foul line (20-for-25).

''I'm just happy to be a part of it,'' said Purvis, who had scored a combined 13 points in the last three games coming in.

UConn finished 17 for 47 from the field overall and 29 for 36 from the foul line. The Huskies also won the rebound battle 35-34 and scored 15 points off 12 Georgetown turnovers.

''We shot a low percentage, but our defense was strong and that's what we hang our hats on,'' UConn coach Kevin Ollie said. ''It was just an unbelievable job by our players,''

Sterling Gibbs added 16 points, Shonn Miller 15 and Daniel Hamilton 11 for UConn, which won its third straight. Reggie Cameron scored 13 points to lead Georgetown (12-8), which was expected to stay in town overnight due to the snowstorm on the east coast and attempt to go home Sunday.

This was the first meeting between the schools since Feb. 27, 2013 when the Hoyas beat UConn 79-78 in double overtime in their final Big East meeting. UConn moved to the American Athletic Conference the next season while the Hoyas stayed behind.

D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's jumper gave Georgetown a 62-60 lead with 4:32 to play, but the Hoyas came up empty the rest of the way, missing its final five shots and turning the ball over three times.

''We came down to the end and we made some bad plays,'' Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. ''It's nothing other than that. We just didn't make the plays we needed to win at the end.''

The Huskies built a 40-33 first-half lead behind 11 points from Purvis, 5-for-10 shooting from 3-point range and a 50-percent field goal percentage (13-for-26). UConn failed to carry that over to the second half as it opened 1 for 16 from the field and allowed the Hoyas to climb back into it.

When Phil Nolan scored the first field goal of the half, with 12:46 to play, the Hoyas had whittled the lead down to 49-46. Tre Campbell tied it two possessions later with a 3-pointer, which was part of an 8-2 run that gave Georgetown a 54-51 lead with 9:50 left.

The Hoyas led again 60-56 with 6:00 left after a Bradley Hayes jumper, but would manage just one more basket the rest of the way.

''The last four-and-a-half minutes they didn't score a bucket and we kind of came out in the second half and were 1 for 16 (from the field), but we stuck in there,'' Ollie said. ''It's about being thirty (second) tough for 40 minutes.''

UConn opened the second half 7 for 8 at the foul line and was in the bonus with 14:22 to play. The Hoyas were just 7 for 8 from the line for the game, 2 for 3 in the second half.

Georgetown's biggest offensive punch came on the perimeter where it went 9 for 31 - the most attempts the Hoyas had taken in a game all season. Smith-Rivera and L.J. Peak each added 12 points.

''It's just a normal Big East game, that's what it is,'' Thompson said. ''That's what Georgetown-Connecticut is about. I don't know any other atmosphere up here.''

The schools will play again next season at Georgetown.



Georgetown: The Hoyas had a 12-6 edge in second-chance points.

UConn: The Huskies outscored the Hoyas 24-18 in the paint despite being without 7-foot center Amida Brimah (broken finger).


Georgetown is home against Creighton on Tuesday.

UConn is home against Cincinnati on Thursday.

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