Notre Dame's 12-game winning streak ended Saturday with a 65-58 loss to Connecticut at Purcell Pavilion in South Bend. The loss was also the Irish's first home loss in nearly a year. They last lost at Purcell Pavilion on January 14, 2012 to the same UConn program.
Eric Atkins led Notre Dame with 18 points. Jack Cooley just missed out on another double-double scoring 14 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. Jerian Grant added 11 points. Shabazz Napier paced the Huskies with 19 points to go with five rebounds and four assists.
The game stayed competitive all the way throughout. The Irish jumped out to an early five point lead and extended it up to eight in the first half before UConn powered back to tie the game at 29-29 with 1:40 remaining. A Cooley jumper on the next ND possession allowed the Irish to take a 31-29 lead into halftime.
The Huskies grabbed their first lead of the game on a Tyler Oleander jumper early in the second half. The teams then traded leads before a 40-40 tie was broken by a jumper from DeAndre Daniels for UConn. The Huskies would never trail again. Notre Dame did force two more ties including a 58-58 tie with 1:14 to play, but UConn would make five free throws and a layup while the Irish missed their final three shots to lift the Huskies to the victory.
Notre Dame's loss is their first since St. Joseph's knocked them off on November 16th. They slip to 14-2 overall and 2-1 in the Big East and will get back in action looking to start another winning streak Tuesday night at St. John's. UConn improves to 12-3 overall and 2-1 in the conference. They'll next play Monday night when they host Louisville.