HOUSTON (AP) — Jordan Hawkins spent most of Friday in bed except when he went to the bathroom to throw up. He hardly slept. Still, there was no way he was ready for Connecticut’s game against Miami in the Final Four.

“I absolutely knew I was going to play,” Hawkins said after the Huskies’ 72-59 win over Miami in the national semifinals on Saturday night. “I didn’t care how I felt. Put me on a stretcher, it didn’t matter.”

Luckily it wasn’t that dramatic. But the 6-foot-5 sophomore bounced back from missing practice on Friday by first hitting a 3-pointer on the game’s opening possession and then scoring 10 of his 13 points after halftime as the Huskies advanced to the title game on Monday evening rolled.

“Final Four game day, I wasn’t feeling so good,” he said in the dressing room. “But you just have this mentality that you have to go out there and win a game for a national championship.”

Hawkins, the team’s second-best scorer at 16.3 points per game, hit three 3s in the game and played 25 minutes.

“Could have played better,” he said. “Could always play better”

Hawkins said he wasn’t sure if he contracted stomach poisoning or food poisoning after eating a steak and calamari meal Thursday night. While his teammates descended on NRG Stadium on Friday for open public practice, Hawkins was unhappy at the hotel and trying to recover as quickly as possible.

“I’ve been here nine months now and I’ve never seen him miss a workout,” said big man Donovan Clingan. “When he missed practice the day before a Final Four game, I knew something was wrong. I know he’s such a dog and cares so much about winning. I wasn’t worried that he would be here today.”

Hawkins said getting his legs moving when shooting before the game helped and he felt better the longer he stayed on the court.

That’s why he was already looking at the title game against San Diego State.

“No need to worry on Monday,” he said.

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at https://twitter.com/aaronbeardap

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