No. 8 Bulldogs Fall To Buzzer-Beater At Maui Finals
Nov. 23, 2005
LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) - Denham Brown hit a turnaround jumper with 1.1 seconds to play to give No. 3 Connecticut a 65-63 victory over No. 8 Gonzaga on Wednesday night in the championship game of the Maui Invitational.
The Huskies (4-0) were able to win for a second straight game with star forward Rudy Gay struggling offensively. Brown, center Hilton Armstrong and freshman forward Jeff Adrien all stepped up to fill the void, none bigger than Brown, who hit the winning shot over Gonzaga's Adam Morrison and J.P. Batista.
The buzzer sounded but the officials put 1.1 seconds back on the clock and Gonzaga (3-1), which had reached the final by beating No. 12 Michigan State 109-106 in triple overtime in one of the best regular-season games ever played, wasn't able to get off a decent shot as the buzzer sounded for real.
The Huskies, who beat No. 9 Arizona 79-70 in the semifinals, were up 63-59 with 37 seconds left on a free throw by Craig Austrie.
Derek Raivio of Gonzaga made two free throws with 26 seconds left to get the Bulldogs to 63-61.
Gay's shooting woes continued on the free throw line as he missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 25 seconds left. Gonzaga came down court and Morrison had two shots blocked by Armstrong, who finished with five blocks. However, Gay fouled Batista on the rebound of the second shot with 6.6 seconds to go.
Batista made both, setting the stage for Brown's game-winner.
Rashad Anderson had 14 points for Connecticut, while Adrien added 11 and Gay had 10. Brown, who finished 4-for-11 from the field, had nine points. Adrien had seven points in a 5-minute span of the second half as the Huskies took a 58-50 lead with 7:19 to play.
Morrison, the tournament MVP who had a Maui Invitational-record 43 points against Michigan State, finished with 18, while Batista had 19 points and eight rebounds.
Gay had six points on 2-for-10 shooting and five turnovers against Arizona. He was 5-for-10 against Gonzaga but except for a big dunk with 5:23 left, he was never a factor in Connecticut's offense in the second half.
Connecticut had everyone available take a turn guarding Morrison, but Brown had the main responsibility and he got big help on the baseline from Armstrong, who had seven rebounds.
This was Connecticut's first title in an inseason tournament it didn't host since the 1956 Orange Bowl Classic, a run of 23 tournaments.
This was second meeting between the schools. The first was Connecticut's 67-62 victory in the West Regional final in 1999 that sent the Huskies on to their first national championship.
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