Notre Dame vs Connecticut

Robinson's monster game helps UConn overcome Harangody, Irish wire reports

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun was looking for somebody to step up and help stars Stanley Robinson and Jerome Dyson with the scoring load.

Nobody expected that somebody to be Charles Okwandu.

The junior center, who had never scored more than two points in a game, hit all five of his shots Saturday and finished with 10 points to help No. 10 UConn beat Notre Dame 82-70 on Saturday.

"I feel like this game brought me out of my shell," Okwandu said. "It really built my confidence."

Robinson scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds and Dyson added 20 points, 16 in the second half, and 10 assists for UConn (10-3, 1-1 Big East). Kemba Walker had 11 points and 10 assists, only the second time in school history two players have reached double digits in assists in the same game.

Gavin Edwards chipped in with 13 points. But Calhoun called it a breakout game for Okwandu, who missed the last half of last season with academic issues.

"We got our spark from Charles," Calhoun said. He "made us more physical."

Luke Harangody scored 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Notre Dame (12-3, 1-1), which lost for the first time in four games.

Ben Hansbrough, the brother of former North Carolina star forward Tyler, had 14 points and Tyrone Nash added 11 for the Irish, who were playing their first true road game of the season. Notre Dame's only other games outside South Bend were in the Chicago Invitational Challenge in November.

"I feel pretty good about my group, first time on the road," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "We came back. We answered some big punches from a good team."

There were 17 lead changes in the game, and UConn didn't take control until late in the second half.

Okwandu sparked the Huskies early, and he brought the crowd into the game when he blocked Harangody on a drive and pinned the ball between the rim and the backboard. His layup at the other end gave UConn a 50-42 lead.

"He did shock us a little bit," said Brey. "They can run a lot of bodies at you like that and wear you down, and then he happened to really deliver.

Harangody brought the Irish back, and his jumper midway through the half gave Notre Dame a 54-53 lead.

UConn responded with a 13-2 run, but led just 68-62 with 3:48 left when Dyson picked up his fourth foul.

Notre Dame's Tory Jackson missed the front end of a 1 and 1, and after a timeout, the Huskies finished the game by scoring 16 of the final 24 points.

"On the defensive end, we stepped it up and really played together," Robinson said. "Our bench players played great."

UConn blocked 11 Notre Dame shots, after failing to record a blocked shot on Wednesday for the first time since Jan. 30, 2001. The Huskies lead the nation with more than nine blocks a game.

Notre Dame jumped out to a 10-4 lead, capitalizing on five early UConn turnovers.

Edwards and Okwandu helped lead the Huskies back, scoring 15 of the Huskies' first 26 points, and helping UConn to a 34-32 halftime lead.

Notre Dame's Tim Abromaitis, who came in averaging over 16 points, had just eight for the Irish. Abromaitis is from nearby Farmington, and his father starred at UConn.

"I didn't feel any extra pressure," he said. "Maybe I didn't get to the ball enough. My shots weren't really dropping. I think they played pretty good defense."

The Huskies lost at Cincinnati on Wednesday and haven't had consecutive conference losses to start the season in 20 years.

"We definitely needed this one," Dyson said. "We kind of made this a team game today. It wasn't just one person here and there."

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Stanley Robinson goes for 22 points and also grabs a career-high 16 boards for UConn. (AP)
Stanley Robinson goes for 22 points and also grabs a career-high 16 boards for UConn. (AP)
Notre Dame (12-3)323870
Connecticut #10 (10-3) «344882
ND:Luke Harangody 31 Pts
ND:Luke Harangody 9 Reb
ND:Tory Jackson 8 Ast
CT:Stanley Robinson 22 Pts
CT:Stanley Robinson 16 Reb
CT:Jerome Dyson 10 Ast

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ConnecticutNotre Dame
Stanley Robinson
Luke Harangody
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
T. Jackson, G402-70-13846
L. Harangody, F3914-272-290231
B. Hansbrough, G384-113-432514
T. Abromaitis, F323-90-04148
T. Nash, G-F215-111-182211
C. Scott, F150-30-01210
J. Peoples, G120-20-01110
M. Broghammer, F10-00-00000
J. Brooks, G10-00-01110
J. Cooley, F10-00-00000
T. Andree, FDid Not Play
T. Knight, FDid Not Play
T. Kopko, GDid Not Play
S. Martin, GDid Not Play
Totals 28-706-830172070
Connecticut Huskies
J. Dyson, G396-138-10210420
K. Walker, G373-55-6410011
S. Robinson, F369-191-2161122
A. Oriakhi, F-C241-62-29014
A. Majok, F40-00-01020
G. Edwards, F-C276-101-121213
J. Coombs-McDaniel, F160-22-20012
C. Okwandu, C145-50-050210
D. Beverly, G30-00-01000
K. Bailey, GDid Not Play
A. Hornat, FDid Not Play
J. Mandeldove, CDid Not Play
D. Smith, GDid Not Play
J. Trice, GDid Not Play
Totals 30-6019-2340221382
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
N. Carolina14-433-75
Florida St.12-626-914
Notre Dame12-626-1023
Va. Tech10-822-1148
Miami (Fla.)10-821-1242
Wake Forest9-919-1439
Georgia Tech8-1021-16106
NC State4-1415-17141
Boston College2-169-23219

Big East
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Seton Hall10-821-1244
St. Johns7-1114-19140
Other games
PITT 82 Final
Syracuse 72
UAB 73 Final
Arkansas 72
Louisville 62 Final
Kentucky 71
NOVA 74 Final
MU 72
TXAM-CC 70 Final
Texas 76
Oregon 90 Final
Wash 79
Kansas 84 Final
Temple 52
Mich St 91 Final
Nwstern 70