SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Shabazz Napier saw a sign in the stands about Notre Dame being 46-1 on its home court and just smiled. He knew the Huskies were the team that gave the Irish that one loss.
"It gave myself a little chuckle because I was telling myself it was going to be 46-2," he said.
Napier knew what he was talking about as he scored 19 and Tyler Olander scored 12 of his career-high 16 points in the second half to pace UConn to a 65-58 win over No. 17 Notre Dame, marking the third time in four seasons the Huskies have ended a home winning streak for the Irish.
While Napier and Ryan Boatright, who added 14 points, came up big as usual for the Huskies (12-3, 2-1 Big East), it was the play of Tyler Olander that everyone was talking about after the game. His 12 points in the second half matched his career high against Arkansas.
Olander was 8-of-9 shooting with seven rebounds, a blocked shot and a steal.
"Tyler Olander was wonderful," Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie said. "Just looking aggressive and looking like he wanted a challenge."
The Huskies outscored Notre Dame 7-0 in the final minute, preventing the Irish (14-2, 2-1) from getting off to their best start ever in the Big East and their best start overall since the 1973-74 squad led by John Shumate and Adrian Dantley and coached by Digger Phelps opened 24-1.
"We played with a little bit of the weight of the world on our shoulders," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "That took its toll on us a little bit."
Olander had his best game playing against Jack Cooley, who had 14 points and nine rebounds.
"I didn't look at the matchup and say, `I'm going go off and have a great game.' I knew Jack Cooley is a great player. He's having an outstanding year. I just told myself to go out, play hard, try to limit his rebounds and keep him off the boards. I guess good things happen when you play hard," he said.
Cooley said Notre Dame's plan was to give Olander open jump shots.
"He just started hitting them," he said. "He was playing really well inside."
Brey said the Irish couldn't take advantage of Cooley.
"We could never get Jack into anything around the bucket. He was battling the whole night and fighting," Brey said.
The loss Saturday ended a 17-game home winning streak for the Irish. Last year the Huskies ended a 29-game streak, meaning the only opponent to win in South Bend the past 48 games is UConn. The Huskies also ended Notre Dame's school-record 45-game home streak in 2009.
"When I stepped onto the court, I looked up and it said 46-1 and it gave myself a little chuckle because I was telling myself it was going to be 46-2," Napier said.
Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie said he focused on his team.
"We just talk about hanging in there and hanging around. Good things are going to happen to a team that sticks together and for a team that plays for each other," he said.
Atkins led the Irish with 18, Jack Cooley added 14 points and nine rebounds and Jerian Grant had 11 points.
Connecticut took its first lead at 36-34 as Olander scored back-to-back baskets inside after Cooley went to the bench early in the second half after picking up his second foul. The Irish regained the lead at 37-36 on a jumper by Cameron Biedscheid. But the Huskies used an 8-3 spurt, including another pair of baskets inside by Olander, to move ahead 44-40.
The Irish tied the score on a basket by Cooley and a pair of free throws by Atkins.
But the Huskies regain control with a 10-4 run, highlighted by an alley-oop from Napier to Boatright. A basket inside by Napier gave UConn a 58-52 lead. But Atkins answered with six straight points to tie the score at 58. The Irish couldn't get the lead, missing four shots and having a turnover in the final minute.