Butler-UConn: After 25 minutes
And so we'll give Charles Barkley the final word on what's to come, God help us all: Early in his high school career, Barkley said, he had to date ugly girls. "Unless UConn can speed it up, get to the good-looking women, Butler's going to win this game."
Chase Stigall rebounds the miss of his first three-pointer as if he knows he would miss. And then he makes a three, so Butler goes up, 25-19, but Stigall then fouls Tyler Lamb who makes two free throws, cutting UConn's deficit to 25-21. First points of game for Lamb. Of the game.
UConn reintroduces itself to field goals; Kemba Walker hits one to pull UCon to within 25-23. Huskies went almost eight minutes without one of those. Lamb now makes a three and UConn leads, 26-25. See what happens when you make field goals? The scoreboard changes in your favor.
The crowd is starting to boo as it seems the Bulldogs are getting pushed around more than what is normally allowed without one of those things -- you know, fouls -- being called.
Walker doesn't care. He goes to the hoop, misses the layup (of course) but is fouled. He makes one free throw. So Huskies surge to 27-25 lead.
Analyst Clark Kellogg says this half is "mildly better" as Butler makes a free throw. Alex Oriakhi makes a layup, though, and that counts for two points. Huskies up 29-25 with 15 minutes left.
-- Diane Pucin
Photo: UConn's Alex Oriakhi topples over Butler's Andrew Smith while going for a block during the first half of the NCAA championship game on Monday night in Houston. Credit: Eric Gay / Associated Press