Irish's Luck Runs Out
Jan. 24, 2009
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -Jerome Dyson scored 15 points and No. 3 Connecticut held 19th-ranked Notre Dame to a season-low 33 percent shooting in a 69-61 victory Saturday night, ending the nation's longest home winning streak at 45 games.
The Huskies (18-1, 7-1 Big East) also prevented the Fighting Irish (12-6, 3-4) from breaking the conference record with their 21st straight league win at home.
UConn put the game away with a 13-1 run after the Irish closed to 49-47 on a reverse layup by Luke Harangody, who finished with 24 points.
The Huskies started the run with four straight baskets inside, highlighted by a slam from Hasheem Thabeet and a basket by Gavin Edwards on a 2-on-1 break. After Kemba Walker hit a 3, Thabeet capped the run with a putback.
Thabeet had nine points, 11 rebounds and five blocks while altering many other shots. Jeff Adrien had 12 points and 19 rebounds, and A.J. Price scored 13 for UConn, which shot 50 percent in the second half after shooting 33 percent in the first half.
The Huskies have won 10 of their last 11 against ranked opponents.
It was the 11th straight game with at least 20 points for Harangody, who also had 15 rebounds for his eighth straight double-double. But he couldn't do it on his own. Kyle McAlarney, after hitting his first three 3-pointers, missed his next 15 shots and finished with only nine points.
UConn, which led 30-29 at halftime, opened the second half with a 12-2 run on a pair of three-point plays by Adrien and Dyson, taking a 42-33 lead on a 17-foot jumper by Adrien. The Huskies opened the lead to 10 points when Craig Austire hit a 3, but the Irish responded with a pair of 3-pointers by Harangody and Tory Jackson to cut the lead to 45-41.
The Irish later cut the lead to 49-47 on Harangody's reverse layup, but the Huskies put the game away after that.
The only negative for the Huskies was they were just 15-of-30 from the free throw line. The Irish were 3-of-4.
It's the first time in three years the Irish have lost three straight and their first loss at home since an 80-72 defeat by Marquette on Feb. 25, 2006. Notre Dame has only beaten four ranked teams during the streak
Kansas now has the nation's longest home winning streak at 35 games.
As the seconds ran off the clock, Thabeet stood at the top of the key and held his hands up high, smiling broadly at the Notre Dame crowd.
It was third straight game against a ranked opponent for the Irish, who host No. 11 Marquette on Monday and play at No. 4 Pittsburgh on Jan. 31. Notre Dame has never played five consecutive ranked teams during the regular season.
It was just the second time the teams met when both were ranked. Last season, then-No. 17 UConn beat No. 20 Notre Dame 84-78 in Storrs, Conn. They play again Feb. 28. UConn leads the series 14-6, but the Irish are 5-4 at home.