Beating the top-ranked team in the country last week didn’t give Connecticut much momentum to build on.
One game after upsetting Texas to reclaim a spot in the rankings, the Huskies fell to Providence, 81-66, last night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center when Jamine Peterson had 23 points and 14 rebounds.
Peterson scored 8 of the Friars’ 14 straight points as they completed their comeback from a 10-point, first-half deficit.
“We just took our foot off the gas. We thought that we had the game won already,’’ said UConn forward Gavin Edwards, who scored 17 points. “Everybody was just resting on their laurels from the Texas game, and as a result, nobody really came out to play, and we got beat.’’
The second-half collapse was all too familiar to Providence (12-8, 4-4 Big East), which led South Florida by 12 with 2:05 left Saturday night before losing in overtime. But this time the Friars were on the other end, and the home crowd celebrated by storming the court even as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
“I was pretty confident that we’d bounce back. I couldn’t have dreamed that we’d bounce back like this,’’ Providence coach Keno Davis said.
Kemba Walker also scored 17 points for the Huskies, adding eight rebounds and seven assists. UConn (13-7, 3-4) lost for the first time under substitute coach George Blaney, who took over Jan. 19 when Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun took a medical leave.
Sharaud Curry scored 18 points, and Bilal Dixon had 11 points and 12 rebounds in Providence’s biggest win since last year’s defeat of then-No. 1 Pittsburgh.
UConn was ranked as high as 10th in The Associated Press Top 25 before three straight losses dropped it out of the polls. It was just one week, though, before the Huskies beat St. John’s and then-No. 1 Texas to jump back into the rankings at No. 19.
The Huskies led, 58-55, with 9:36 left before PC scored the next 14 points and 26 of 31 until Walker made a meaningless 3-pointer in the final minute.
Maine 56, BU 54 - Reserve Mike Allison put in the rebound of his own missed layup at the buzzer, lifting the visiting Black Bears (14-6, 6-1) past the Terriers (11-10, 6-3) and into first in America East.
Jeff Pelage had tied it for BU with a layup with four seconds left.
Murphy Burnatowski scored 14 points to lead the Black Bears, who won their sixth straight to move a half-game ahead of Stony Brook atop the conference.
Jake O’Brien and John Holland each scored 13 points for the Terriers. Corey Lowe had 12 points, but hit only 5 of 17 shots.
UMass 87, Saint Joseph’s 80 - Ricky Harris scored 23 points and Terrell Vinson added 16 as the Minutemen used a 15-2 run midway through the second half to get past the host Hawks and snap a five-game losing streak.
The Minutemen (8-12, 2-4 Atlantic 10) squandered an early 12-point lead. Trailing 56-54 with 13:06 left, they went on a 15-2 run, keyed by a pair of Freddie Riley 3-pointers, to pull ahead, 69-58, with 9:17 to go.
The Hawks (8-12, 2-4) answered with a 9-2 run to draw within 71-67 with 5:15 left, but could get no closer.
Colgate 69, Holy Cross 68 - Yaw Gyawu hit a short jumper with 2.9 seconds left to lift the Raiders (6-14, 2-4 Patriot) past the visiting Crusaders (5-16, 2-4).
Holy Cross was led by Devin Brown, who scored all of his 19 points in the second half, including a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left that put the Crusaders ahead, 68-67.
UNH 75, Vermont 56 - Tyrone Conley and Alvin Abreu combined to score 42 points and the host Wildcats (8-10, 3-4 America East) hit 11 of 18 3-pointers to beat the Catamounts for just the third time in 20 meetings.
Marqus Blakely had 17 points and 11 rebounds for Vermont (14-8, 5-3), which lost its third straight.
Hartford 64, Albany 62 - Joe Zeglinski scored 21 points and hit three 3-pointers to set a school mark with 278 in his career as the visiting Hawks (6-15, 4-4 America East) held off the Great Danes (6-17, 1-7).
Villanova 90, Notre Dame 72 - Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher each scored 17 points to help the No. 3 Wildcats (19-1, 8-0 Big East) get off to the best start in school history with a rout of the Fighting Irish in Philadelphia.
Luke Harangody led Notre Dame (15-6, 4-4) with 21 points and nine rebounds.
Texas 95, Texas Tech 83 - Guards Justin Mason and Dogus Balbay combined for 31 points and the No. 6 Longhorns (18-2, 4-1 Big 12) beat the visiting Red Raiders (14-6, 2-4) to avoid a three-game losing streak.
Duke 70, Florida St. 56 - Jon Scheyer scored 22 points and the No. 8 Blue Devils (17-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast) used a late 15-4 run to hold off the visiting Seminoles (15-5, 3-3).
New Mexico 76, BYU 72 - In Albuquerque, Dairese Gary scored 25 points, including 9 over the final 1:30, and the No. 23 Lobos beat the 12th-ranked Cougars to snap BYU’s 15-game winning streak.
Roman Martinez had 12 points as New Mexico (19-3, 5-2 Mountain West) won its fifth straight. Jonathan Tavernari scored 10 of his 17 points in the second half to lead the Cougars (20-2, 5-1).
Vanderbilt 85, Tennessee 76 - Jermaine Beal scored 25 points and the No. 21 Commodores (16-3, 5-0 Southeastern) won their 10th straight by knocking off the No. 14 Volunteers, handing Tennessee (15-4, 3-2) its first home loss of the season.
Charlotte 74, Temple 64 - Derrio Green scored 26 points and the host 49ers rallied past the No. 15 Owls, ending Temple’s six-game win streak and pushing Charlotte (15-5, 5-1) into a three-way tie atop Atlantic 10 with the Owls (17-4, 5-1) and Xavier.
Ohio St. 65, Iowa 57 - David Lighty scored 20 points, including 18 in the second half, and the No. 20 Buckeyes (15-6, 5-3 Big Ten), rallied past the host Hawkeyes (8-13, 2-6) for their fourth straight Big Ten win.
Chelsea Marandola led Providence (12-8, 3-4) with 18 points.
Nebraska 89, Texas Tech 47 - Kelsey Griffin had 20 points and 10 rebounds for her fifth straight double-double to lead the No. 6 Cornhuskers (18-0, 5-0 Big 12) over the host Lady Raiders (13-6, 1-4).
Baylor 61, Texas A&M 53 - Melissa Jones provided the No. 14 Lady Bears (15-4, 2-3 Big 12) a boost in her return from a leg injury, scoring 17 points with 10 rebounds in an upset of the No. 8 Aggies (15-3, 3-2) in Waco.
Xavier 88, Rhode Island 60 - Megan Shoniker scored 28 points but it wasn’t enough to keep the host Rams (9-12, 2-4 Atlantic 10) close in a loss to the No. 10 Musketeers (15-3, 5-0), URI’s fourth straight loss.
George Washington 64, UMass 54 - Jasmine Watson had 16 points and 10 rebounds but the visiting Colonials (5-14, 2-4 A-10) used a balanced attack to get past the Minutewomen (7-13, 1-4).
Holy Cross 65, Colgate 56 - Whitney Fremeau scored 18 points, boosting the host Crusaders (6-15, 2-4 Patriot) past the Raiders (6-14, 1-5).