Defense, balanced scoring lifts UConn in American title game

Mar 13, 2016 6:23 PM by Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Shonn Miller and Sterling Gibbs scored 13 points each and Daniel Hamilton had a double-double for the third straight day, leading Connecticut to a 72-58 victory over Memphis in Sunday's American Athletic Conference championship game.

Hamilton had 12 points and 11 rebounds. Rodney Purvis scored 12 points and reserve Omar Calhoun hit two crucial 3-pointers and finished with 10 points for UConn (24-10).

Memphis (19-15) trimmed a 16-point deficit to four before Gibbs' long 3-pointer ignited a 15-2 run for UConn, which also made 14 of 16 free throws after halftime to wrap up its first conference tournament title since 2011.

The Huskies lost the American championship game each of the past two seasons, but when Memphis made a final push to get back in the game - pulling within 62-54 with 3 minutes left - Calhoun made a 3-pointer and Purvis followed with a layup in transition to ensure there wouldn't be a third straight loss.

American rookie of the year Dedric Lawson led Memphis with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

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