SOUTH BEND, Ind.—Shabazz Napier, who did not score in the last game, led the UConn men with 16 points as the Huskies posted a hard-earned 67-53 victory Saturday morning over Notre Dame at Purcell Pavilion.
The Huskies (14-3, 4-2 in the Big East) ended Notre Dame’s 29-game winning streak at home, an impressive achievement in itself. They did it after learning Ryan Boatright, their most important bench player, had to sit while the NCAA and the school conducted a second joint review of his eligibility. That forced Napier, who had five assists, to play the entire for minutes at point guard. Further, the Huskies were limited by Tyler Olander’s heel injury, though Olander did play off the bench and made a contribution.
While Jeremy Lamb had a quiet game, hitting 3 of 11 from the floor, the biggest factor for UConn was the play of its big men. Andre Drummond had 10 points and 13 rebounds, Alex Oriakhi, playing with more outward confidence than he has all year, had 12 points and seven rebounds, and Roscoe Smith, working his way back into the rotation, made solid contributions with 10 points and six rebounds. The Huskies shut down ND’s inside game, especially Jack Cooley, who had seven points and six rebounds.
Trailing by a point at the half, UConn blew it open in the second half, outscoring the home team 32-15 out of the break as the Notre Dame crowd, perhaps in reaction to the unusual 11 a.m. start time, was uncharacteristically quiet much of the day. Eric Atkins scored 20 points to lead the Irish (11-7, 3-2 in the league).