New York, NY (Sports Network) – Connecticut and Syracuse fittingly needed overtime to decide their Big East Conference Tournament battle, only this time Kemba Walker carried the 21st-ranked Huskies past the No. 11 Orange, 76-71, and into Saturday’s final.
Two years ago in this tourney, the Orange needed six overtimes to outlast the Huskies in a memorable test of wills. But Walker, just a freshman then, didn’t allow history to repeat itself, recording 33 points, 12 rebounds, six steals and five assists while hitting the game-sealing free throws.
“We let Kemba get too much penetration,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “We tried to double him every chance we could but he’s very difficult — he’s as good a player as there is in college basketball right now. He just made tremendous plays.”
UConn (25-9) will play its fifth game in five days Saturday against the winner of the Notre Dame-Louisville matchup, while Syracuse (26-7) will wait until Sunday to see where it is placed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.