Shabazz Napier sparks UConn to upset of No. 17 Notre Dame

Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright drives the lane as Notre Dame guard Scott Martin defends in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in South Bend, Ind. Connecticut won 65-58. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)
UConn’s Ryan Boatright drove the lane as Notre Dame’s Scott Martin defended on Saturday in South Bend, Ind. (AP)
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 points and Tyler Olander scored 12 of his career-high 16 in the second half to pace Connecticut 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.

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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 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,’’ UConn 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.

The loss 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 in the past 48 games is UConn. The Huskies also ended Notre Dame’s school-record 45-game home streak in 2009.

BU 83, Binghamton 59 — D.J. Irving scored 16 points and John Papale had 14, and the host Terriers (8-9, 2-2 America East) shot 55 percent from the field to defeat Bearcats (2-15, 0-4).

Irving and Papale each made three shots from 3-point range for the Terriers, whose 44 percent shooting (12 of 27) on 3-pointers was better than Binghamton’s 30.9 percent (21 of 68) from all distances. BU made 30 of 55 shots overall.

The Terriers, who have won seven straight over the Bearcats, used a 14-2 run to expand a 3-point lead to a 40-25 margin with 2:30 left until halftime.

Binghamton, which has lost 11 straight, got 17 points from Jimmy Gray and 14 from Jordan Reed.

Northeastern 70, Towson 59 — Joel Smith scored 21 points and the visiting Huskies (9-7, 4-0) took control with a late first-half run to beat the Tigers (8-9, 3-1) and take over sole possession of first place in the Colonial Athletic Association.

The Huskies trailed, 25-13, with 8:16 left in the first half but outscored the Tigers, 26-8, the rest of the way until intermission. Smith had 9 points and Quincy Ford 8 during the run.

Towson got to within 43-40 early in the second half on Marcus Damas’s 3-pointer, but three consecutive layups by Dinko Marshavelski, who had just reentered the game, boosted Northeastern’s lead to 49-40 with 13:05 left.

Northeastern is off to its best conference start since winning its first six in the 2008-09 season. The victory gave coach Bill Coen a 100-106 record, making him the fourth coach in program history to reach the century mark in wins.

Vermont 68, Maryland-Baltimore County 53 — Clancy Rugg scored a career-high 19 points with 9 rebounds and 4 steals as the host Catamounts (10-6, 3-1) led wire-to-wire in an America East victory over the Retrievers (3-14, 1-3).