STORRS -- As UConn's 2012-13 season winds down, it appears Kevin Ollie and Shabazz Napier are alive in the respective races for Big East Coach of the Year and Big East Player of the Year.

Napier, though, insists on discussing a fictitious award.

"I think if they had a Big East Team of the Year, it should be us," Napier said following Thursday's 73-66 overtime victory over Cincinnati. "I think without my teammates I wouldn't be scoring, I wouldn't be doing much. This team is tremendously intertwined with each other."

This team, banned from the postseason, is in search of its 19th win when it travels to DePaul for an 8 p.m. Saturday matchup (SNY).

And UConn hopes this one comes a bit easier than Thursday's. After another late-game rescue from Napier -- he has 46 points in 30 minutes of overtime this season -- the Huskies advanced to 4-1 in the extra session, defeating Quinnipiac, Providence, South Florida and now Cincinnati.

In the first meeting with DePaul on Jan. 8, the extra five minutes weren't quite necessary. UConn jumped out to a 31-11 lead and coasted to a 99-78 rout of the lowly Blue Demons. It marked the most points the Huskies had scored in a regular season Big East game since a 99-57 romp of Seton Hall in 2006. DePaul attempted to press Napier and Ryan Boatright to no avail. The two guards shredded the pressure defense and DeAndre Daniels, who scored a career-high 26 points, was often the beneficiary.

On Thursday, he was equally valuable, pouring in 17 points as Boatright struggled. Daniels made a career-high three 3-pointers, including a swish from the right wing that brought UConn within one, 53-52.

"He gave us some big-time minutes," Ollie said Thursday. "Big time shots. When we were down four, he hit that (3-pointer) when Shabazz made that wonderful pass off a high ball screen. The toughness that he showed was just great."

Daniels, inconsistent in the early portion of the year, has developed into a solid rebounder: Since that first game against DePaul, he's averaging 5.8 boards per game.

"(Against Cincinnati), Daniels did a lot of the things we normally see him do in practice," Napier said.

"It's good for it to show in a great game. I hope he continues to believe in himself as much as he did in the game here."

He'll be matched up Saturday with one-time UConn commit Cleveland Melvin, who averages 16.2 points and 7.3 rebounds. Melvin and guard Brandon Young (16.7 points per game) both rank in the Big East's top 10 scoring leaders. Only one other pair of teammates shares that distinction: Napier and Boatright.

The latter of the two has hit a rough patch offensively, failing to reach double-figures in three of his past five games. In those games -- two of which were wins -- Boatright shot 6-for-27 from the field and averaged just six points.

But his effort on defense against Cincinnati, Ollie said, made a huge difference.

"He grew and he matured," Ollie said. "He had his head down (versus Villanova) because he wasn't shooting the ball well. This game, he picked up and took Cashmere Wright out of the game in the second half. He stepped up and grew up."; @KevinRDuffy