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    No. 17 UConn Tops Notre Dame, 67-53

    UCONNHUSKIESDOTCOM
    Connecticut center Andre Drummond, right, puts up a shot as Connecticut forward Alex Oriakhi assists over Notre Dame guard Alex Dragicevich.

    UCONNHUSKIESDOTCOM
    Connecticut center Andre Drummond, right, puts up a shot as Connecticut forward Alex Oriakhi assists over Notre Dame guard Alex Dragicevich.
    UCONNHUSKIESDOTCOM

    Jan. 14, 2012

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    SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -University of Connecticut freshman Andre Drummond (Middletown, Conn.) posted his third-straight double-double and fourth in the past five games with 10 point and 13 rebounds to lead the 17th-ranked University of Connecticut men's basketball team to a 67-53 win over Notre Dame on Saturday before a crowd of 9,149  at the Purcell Pavilion.

    The Huskies had a big second half snapping the Fighting Irish's 29-game home winning streak behind the 16 points of sophomore Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.). Junior Alex Oriakhi (Lowell, Mass.) added 12 points for the Huskies, who are now 14-3 overall and 4-2 in the BIG EAST.

    "We were energized, tonight," said Calhoun. `'We had a pretty emotional talk. But it is about us. It is not about anyone but us and we can't control the world but we can control what we do. Tonight we stayed with things and the biggest thing in life is just staying with things."

    Junior Alex Oriakhi (Lowell, Mass.) added 12 points for the Huskies. Eric Atkins scored 20 points for Notre Dame (11-7, 3-2), who led 25-24 at halftime as Atkins went 3 of 4 from beyond the arc.

    Calhoun said his team talked about defending the 3-pointer better at halftime. "We got over those and we made sure the third guy in line rotated," he said. "We did a good job of not letting that man be free. So the third guy in line got in there. He just can't come out late. We talked a little bit about that at halftime and our guys seemed to respond really well."

    The Huskies shot 56 percent in the second half, while the Irish closed the game by making 12 of 36 shots. Connecticut used an 18-8 run over the first 10 minutes of the second half to take a 42-33 lead. The Irish scored five straight points, but UConn answered with a 12-2 run that made it 54-40 with 3:41 left.

    The Huskies outrebounded Notre Dame 43-33 - including getting 14 offensive rebounds that were converted into 16 points - and made 15 free throws compared to five for the Irish.

    Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said UConn's defense was the key. "It was hard for us to anything offensively against their defense," he said. "First half, we had some open stuff - some layups, free throws right before half. Second half, we got looks but they were kind of hurried and they were hurried because of Connecticut's length. Their size beat us up on the backboard at times. They were hard to keep off the board. We were trying. We kept fighting. Not today."

    Brey was philosophical about the end of the streak. "It was a pretty good run," he said. "Amazing when you think about it. I'm really proud of our overall body of work at home. So, you get a chance to start another streak."

    Atkins had 13 points in the first half when both teams shot below 40 percent. But Notre Dame made five 3-pointers while Connecticut didn't make any shots from behind the arc.

    Notre Dame led by five points with 3:26 to go in the first half. UConn went on a 6-0 run but Atkins scored to give the Irish the halftime lead although the Huskies missed three shots in a closing flurry.