Notre Dame forward Luke Harangody, left and Ryan Ayres, right, attempt to keep Connecticut center Hasheem Thabeet out of the lane during the first half of UConn's 69 - 61 win over Notre Dame - Joe Raymond/AP Photo

During the build up for tonight’s game all of the talk was centered around Luke Harangody and Hasheem Thabeet about Thabeet’s comments in ESPN The Magazine back in November. While Harangody may have won the statistical war, all that matters for the No. 3 UConn Huskies is the result.

Connecticut guard Jeff Adrien displays his jersey following his team's 69-61 victory over Notre Dame in a NCAA college basketball game Saturday Jan. 24, 2009 in South Bend, Ind. Adrien scored 12 points and had 19 rebounds. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)Jerome Dyson scored 15 points to lead a well-balanced scoring attack as the Huskies beat the No. 19 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at a sold-out Joyce Center in South Bend, IN. The win by UConn ends Notre Dame’s 45-game home winning streak and is their 7th straight win. Their last loss came against Georgetown back in late December.

UConn improves to 18-1 (7-1 Big East) while Notre Dame dropped their third straight game to fall to 12-6 (3-4).

As I said above, all of the buildup was centered around Thabeet’s comments in ESPN The Magazine back in November and what would happen. The crowd was hostile towards Thabeet and the Huskies and Harangody would won the statistical battle. He had 24 points and 15 rebounds while Thabeet had 9 points, 11 rebounds and 5 blocked shots.

Dyson also added 9 rebound and 3 assists while A.J. Price had 13 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Jeff Adrien had another great game as he had the 42nd double-double of his career with 12 points and a career-high 19 rebounds.

Notre Dame forward Luke Harangody, right, drives the lane as Connecticut forward Gavin Edwards defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday Jan. 24, 2009 in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)To me though, it was the play of Gavin Edwards off the bench that helped the Huskies out. He came in and helped UConn maintain their lead at crucial points, scoring 8 points and pulling down 3 rebounds.

Kyle McAlarney and Tory Jackson both added 9 points with Jackson pulling down 7 rebounds. Tyrone Nash chipped in with 8 points as well for Mike Brey’s squad.

Notre Dame controlled the tempo in the first half that saw UConn hold a 1 point lead 30-29 at the half.

In the second half, UConn got out to a 10 point lead but Notre Dame cut that lead down to two points at 49-47.  Jim Calhoun called timeout and let his team have it on the sidelines. It worked though as the Huskies came out and went on a 6-0 run that was part of a 13-1 run to take control of the game.

UConn won this game with it’s athleticism and defensive pressure. With McAlarney going cold after hitting his first 3 three-pointers, Notre Dame had to  rely offensively on Harangody and that just wasn’t enough for them tonight.

The Huskies are off until Wednesday night when they head to Chicago to take on the DePaul Blue Demons. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 PM and the game will be televised locally on My-TV9 here in Connecticut.

Notes and musings:

UConn Huskies at Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish 1.24.09 men’s basketball box score

The starters were A.J. Price, Jerome Dyson, Stanley Robinson, Jeff Adrien and Hasheem Thabeet.

The Irish last lost at home on Feb. 25, 2006 to Marquette. Not only did UConn’s win stop the 45-game home winning streak, it put an end to Notre Dame’s 20-game Big East home winning streak.

I do have wonder if Jim Calhoun will move Craig Austrie back into the lineup or go with matchups as Stanley Robinson was non-existent on the offensive end again as he put a bagel tonight.

UConn shot 40.7% (24-of-59) from the floor while Notre Dame shot 32.9% (25-of-76).

The Huskies had 14 assists on their 24 made baskets.

UConn shot 6-of-18 (33.3%) from 3-point land while Notre Dame was 8-of-27 (29.6%).

It’s a good thing that it didn’t come down to shooting free throws for the Huskies tonight as they were just brutal at the charity stripe. They were 15-of-30 (50.0%). Notre Dame got to the line just 4 times, hitting 3 of them.

UConn won the battle of the boards 54-44.

Notre Dame had just 7 turnovers in the game while the Huskies had 11.

UConn committed just 7 fouls in the game while Notre Dame was whistled for 24.