**FINAL** Memphis wins 54-53
Well, that's three last second game winners at Gampel. Shaq Goodwin rips the guts out of the Huskies with a floater in the lane to give Memphis a much needed road win. Tough loss for UConn on Senior Night.
I'm fried right now. That was intense. UConn fans, we'll have more up following interviews with Ollie and players.
**HALFTIME** UConn and Memphis are tied at 26
Well, it took a while, but the Huskies got Gampel rocking. Memphis went on a 12-2 to start the game, but since then, Ryan Boatright and Daniel Hamilton led the way. Boatright on his Senior Night has really set the tone. In the final 1:36 of the half, we manufactured 8 points to tie the score. He drew a foul on a three point attempt and sank all three freebies, converted a tough and-one layup, and created a turnover to push in transition where he found Hamilton who drew a foul.
Amida Brimah is a man on a mission. He blocked 6 blocks, several of which were Mutombo-esque. He showed a mean streak, too, which was a good sign. Phil Nolan, Omar Calhoun, and Boat got in on the block party. UConn really shored up their interior defense after the opening minutes saw Memphis dunk everything in sight.
Good composure from Boat and Rodney Purvis following Calvin Godfrey's dirty foul. Purvis got bundled up under the basket and came up hot looking for a fight, but Boat got his arms around him and pushed him away from a confrontation. Veteran move.
This is the most energy Gampel has had in a while. The Huskies are flying around, trying to send a message. We have 20 minutes left. This one is a barnburner.
It's Senior Night here at Gampel Pavilion. UConn (17-11, 10-6 AAC) will take on Memphis (17-12, 9-7 AAC) in their final home game before the conference tournament. This is the last time Ryan Boatright and Pat Lenehan will play on campus as UConn students. It has been quite a journey for Boat. A National Champion, captain, and hopefully a future NBA star. He deserves to leave Gampel as a winner one last time. For a great look at Boat's growth, check out Tim Fontenault's column. It is well worth a read.
Standing in the way of a storybook ending are the Memphis Tigers. The two sides met on February 19th down in Memphis, with the Tigers coming away with a 75-72 win. This was the game that saw a skirmish break out that ended with Boatright clutching his mouth after venturing over to the Memphis bench. UConn got a big game out of AAC Freshman of the Week Daniel Hamilton, who sprung for 25 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists. He spurred UConn late in that game. The Huskies trailed by as much as 15 in the second half before Hamilton and Rodney Purvis got hot late. Hamilton missed a three pointer at the buzzer which would have tied it up.
A key difference with tonight's game is that Memphis forward Austin Nichols will not play. According to reports, Nichols did not make the trip due to an ankle injury. He finished the first game with 16 points, 8 rebounds and 7 blocks. Without him, Memphis loses a valuable interior presence on both sides of the court. They will need Shaq Goodwin to assume a much bigger role if they want to complete the season sweep of the Huskies.
The Huskies have been on fire recently. Rodney Purvis is coming off a career performance against SMU on Sunday, Hamilton has come into his own and Boatright is playing like the preseason Player of the Year he was projected to be. A victory tonight makes it four straight for UConn. Heading into the conference tournament, any amount of momentum helps.
Follow me on Twitter @ElanDeCarlo for realtime updates and don't forget to check back at TheUConnBlog.com at halftime and after the game for in-depth coverage.