Feb. 21, 2006
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Hilton Armstrong hit a pair of free throws in overtime and Rudy Gay came down with a key defensive rebound as time expired, and No. 3 Connecticut held on to beat a hard-charging Notre Dame 75-74 Tuesday night.
The Fighting Irish (13-11, 4-9 Big East) were down by as many as 19 early in the second half but stunned the Huskies (24-2, 11-2) and the Hartford Civic Center sellout crowd of 16,294 with a 25-2 run. Colin Falls had 12 points in the spurt including a baseline layup that gave the Irish their first lead at 61-60 with 10:35 to play.
UConn relied on its size inside to come back. Josh Boone scored on a pair of putbacks and grabbed a couple of boards on the defensive end. Point guard Marcus Williams, had a triple-double, tied the score at 71 at the end of regulation with a baseline layup off his own rebound.
Neither team scored until Gay hit a jumper with 1:41 left in the extra period. Rob Kurz countered with a 3-pointer and the Irish regained the lead 74-73. Armstrong was fouled on UConn’s next possession and hit both free throws to close out the scoring.
Chris Quinn, who finished with 11 points for Notre Dame, gave the Irish one final chance. He threw up a floater in traffic that was tipped by a number of defenders and Gay came down with the rebound.
It was UConn’s first overtime game this season and the fourth for the Irish, who have lost them all.
Williams had 18 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for UConn. It was the sixth triple-double in school history, and the first since Emeka Okafor against Army in Dec. 2003. Boone had 12 points and 14 rebounds and Gay finished with 17 points.
Falls, who made 5-of-14 3-pointers, finished with 23 for Notre Dame. Rick Cornett scored 12 for the Irish before fouling out in the closing minutes.
The Huskies outrebounded the Irish 56-46 and had a Big East record 19 blocks. Notre Dame, the best 3-point shooting team in the conference finished 10-of-28 from beyond the arc.
UConn closed out its regular season at the Civic Center 10-0 and snapped Notre Dame’s three-game win streak.