In 2009, the UConn Huskies men’s basketball team went into Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center and snapped the Notre Dame Fighting Irish’s 45-game winning streak. This time around, UConn was looking to snap Notre Dame’s 29-game home winning streak.

And that’s exactly what they did as Shabazz Napier led the Huskies with 16 points in their 67-53 win over the Irish in front of 9,149 on Saturday morning/afternoon in South Bend, IN.

With the win, UConn improves to 14-3 (4-2 Big East) on the season. The Irish fall to 11-7 (3-2).

UConn's Shabazz Napier drives past Notre Dame guard Eric Atkins in the first half.After going scoreless in the win over West Virginia, Napier stepped up to lead the Huskies. Besides his 16 points, he added five assists. Alex Oriakhi may have had his best game of the season as he added 12 points and seven rebounds.

Andre Drummond didn’t play all that well but did turn things up in the second half and finished with a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds. He also had two blocks. Roscoe Smith also had a nice game off the bench with 10 points and six rebounds. Jeremy Lamb had a tough go of things on the offensive end finishing with six points but led the Huskies with seven assists.

Eric Atkins led all scorers in the game with 20 points for the Irish. Scott Martin chipped in with 12 points and nine rebounds.

This game was tale of two halfs. In the first half, Notre Dame had more three-pointers than they did two point field goals. In the second half, they couldn’t buy a three-pointer as UConn made some great adjustments at halftime on the defensive end while running their offense to almost perfection in the second half.

The Irish jumped out to a 8-6 lead early on behind threes from Atkins and Jerian Grant. UConn followed that up with a 6-0 run led by Napier and Lamb. Notre Dame would fight back though as the same duo of Atkins and Grant would hit threes to tie the game up at 14 all.

After a layup by Oriakhi, Atkins would hit a three to put Notre Dame up one. Jack Cooley would add two free throws to increase their lead to three at 21-19. After the two teams traded baskets, Alex Dragicevich would give Notre Dame a five point lead at 23-18. Four straight points by the Huskies would cut the lead to one and that’s where it was at halftime with the Irish enjoying a 25-24 lead.

Early on in the second half, the two teams would exchange the lead before a basket by Oriakhi would give UConn the lead for good at 31-29 with 16:05 remaining. Over the next six minutes, the Huskies would go on a 9-2 run to increase their lead to nine.

They would continue to build it from there as the Irish went cold from the floor due to those adjustments that UConn made at the half along with a few runs to push their lead all the way up to a 18 points.

With Tyler Olander battling a sore heel along with Ryan Boatright out due to another NCAA investigation, it was nice to see some other players besides the stars help the Huskies.

Roscoe Smith has been battling for minutes all season long and with Olander out, he was given a chance to play at the four. It worked out well for him and head coach Jim Calhoun as Smith gives them more speed at the power forward which helps on both ends of the floor.

Oriakhi has struggled at times this season as well as he was in the same boat as Smith as far as minutes go. But hopefully this solid effort by Oriakhi gives him some confidence as the season goes on.

The Huskies are off until Wednesday when they return home to Gampel Pavilion to host the Cincinnati Bearcats. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN2.

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Notes and musings:

UConn Huskies @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish 1.14.12 box score

Postgame quotes will be added here when/if they become available.

UConn was without freshman point guard Ryan Boatright who is once again under NCAA investigation.

Despite her son having already graduated from UConn and playing in the NBA, Kemba Walker’s mom, Andrea, was seen sitting behind the UConn bench.

The starters for UConn were Shabazz Napier, Jeremy Lamb, DeAndre Daniels, Alex Oriakhi and Andre Drummond.

UConn shot 46.3% (25-54) from the floor while the Irish shot 32.3% (21-64).

The Huskies had 13 assists on their 25 made baskets.

UConn was just 2-of-12 (16.7%) on threes. The Irish were 6-of-26 (23.1%). They had made 5-of-11 in the first half.

The Huskies were great from the charity stripe as they were 15-of-18 (83.3%)

UConn won the battle of the glass, outrebounding Notre Dame 43-33.

The Huskies had 10 points off of eight Irish turnovers. Notre Dame had 11 points off of 10 UConn turnovers.

UConn outscored the Irish 28-26 in the paint and 4-2 on the fast break.

The Huskies had 16 second chance points to 15 for the Irish.

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