John F. Silver
The Huskies were the last team to beat Notre Dame at the Purcell Center one year ago. They did it again on Saturday.
Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright combined for 33 points and Tyler Olander had a career night with 16 points and seven rebounds as the Huskies shocked No. 17 Notre Dame with a 65-58 win over Notre Dame on Saturday.
UConn ended on a 7-0 run in a rare loss for the Irish, riding a 12 game winning streak, at home. Just how rare is the UConn win at the Purcell Center in South Bend? Notre Dame is 46-2 over it’s last 48 games at home. Both losses are to UConn, which beat Notre Dame on Jan. 14 2012 and now today.
The catalyst was a stunning offensive performance from Olander, a junior forward who has struggled this season shooting, scoring and rebounding.
Olander came in averaging 4.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game shooting 40.5 percent from the floor coming in. Olander was the best big man on the floor out playing Notre Dame star Jack Cooley with 16 points on 8 of 9 shooting. Olander showcased the entire arsenal with post-up hook shots, driving layups and pick and pop jumpers. It was a stunning game for Olander, who’s previous season-high was tied on Monday with 10 points against DePaul on Tuesday.
UConn (12-3, 2-1 Big East) also received another stellar performance from Napier, who was snubbed on the Bob Cousy Award finalist list on Friday. Napier scored 19 points added four assists with six rebounds and only one turnover. Napier has only one turnover in the last two games.
The Huskies once again out-rebounded their opponent beating Notre Dame on the boards 30-22 as it has reversed an early season struggles in that department. The huskies shot 50 percent from the floor and held a good shooting Notre Dame team to 42.9 percent. Erik Atkins scored 18 points for Notre Dame.
It was the Huskies second win of the season against a ranked team and sets UConn up nicely for a Monday date at home with No. 3 ranked Louisville.