It was supposed to be a mismatch up front when Connecticut faced Notre Dame. It was -- only it was the Irish who dominated.
Torin Francis had 19 points and seven rebounds, and Dennis Latimore had 12 points as the Irish outscored No. 19 Connecticut, 38-20, inside en route to a 78-74 victory on Sunday at South Bend, Ind.
“Latimore and Torin Francis were a little too much to handle,” Connecticut Coach Jim Calhoun said. “They completely dominated our frontcourt.”
Connecticut’s game plan was to try to take away Notre Dame’s outside game and make the Irish beat the Huskies inside. The Irish did.
“Everyone always talks about us as a shooting team and they question our frontcourt. After today, I don’t think there’s anything left to question,” Francis said. “I think we have the best frontcourt. We haven’t done much to show that yet, but this is a big step.”
The game wasn’t decided, though, until the closing seconds. After shooting 50% for most of the game, the Huskies, 12-5 overall and 4-3 in the Big East, missed their final five shots, including a breakaway layup by Marcus Williams that would have tied the score, 76-76, with 15 seconds left. Instead, Williams’ shot came up short and he fouled Chris Thomas on the rebound. Thomas made two free throws to give the Irish the four-point lead.
Thomas had 11 of his 15 points in the second half for the Irish (13-5, 5-3).
No. 2 Duke 100, Virginia Tech 65 -- Shelden Williams had 25 points and 17 rebounds, and J.J. Redick scored 29 points for the Blue Devils at Durham, N.C.
Daniel Ewing had 17 points for the Blue Devils (16-1, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who bounced back from a home loss earlier in the week to Maryland.
Zabian Dowdell had 15 points for Virginia Tech (11-7, 4-3), which fell to 0-8 all-time at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
No. 9 Oklahoma St. 104, Colorado 86 -- John Lucas scored 26 points to lead the Cowboys at Boulder, Colo.
Oklahoma State (15-3, 5-2 Big 12) rebounded from a 67-57 defeat to No. 13 Oklahoma last Monday with its highest scoring game of the season and won in Boulder for the first time since Feb. 24, 1996.
Andy Osborn and Chris Copeland each scored 19 points to lead the Buffaloes (10-8, 2-5), who made 11 of their 17 three-point shots in the first half.
No. 14 Alabama 75, Georgia 47 -- Kennedy Winston scored 18 points, and the Crimson Tide held the Bulldogs to 31% shooting at Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The game had been scheduled for Saturday night, but the Bulldogs were delayed getting to Tuscaloosa because of icy weather in Georgia.
Alabama (17-3, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) led, 36-17, at halftime. Younes Idrissi had 14 points for Georgia (7-10, 1-6).
Maryland 79, No. 22 Georgia Tech 71 -- At College Park, Md., Nik Caner-Medley scored 19 points and Chris McCray had 16 to lead the Terrapins, who beat a second ranked opponent in a five-day span.
Travis Garrison grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds for the Terrapins (13-5, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Isma’il Muhammad had 15 points for the Yellow Jackets (12-6, 3-4), who lost for the fourth time in five games and fell to 0-3 on the road in the ACC.