© St. Petersburg Times, published February 25, 2003
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Nearly untouchable at home, Notre Dame lost its poise. Connecticut had plenty to do with that.
UConn played a controlled game and hung on to beat No. 9 Notre Dame 87-79 on Monday after nearly blowing a 17-point second-half lead.
"Usually, we have a lot of unforced turnovers, and that causes us to give the other team extra possessions and chances," said Ben Gordon, who led the Huskies with 25 points. "(Monday), we cut that down. And every time we touched the ball, we did something good with it."
The loss ended Notre Dame's home win streak at 16, its longest in 19 seasons. The victory was the second straight for the Huskies since coach Jim Calhoun returned after surgery for prostate cancer on Feb. 3.
UConn (18-6, 9-4 Big East) moved two wins ahead of second-place Villanova in the East division. The Irish (21-6, 9-4) fell a half-game behind Syracuse and Pittsburgh in the West.
Chris Thomas, who had 19 points and nine assists, became upset when he was hit hard under the basket by Emeka Okafor and no foul was called.
After Gordon made a 3-pointer to give the Huskies a 31-23 lead, Thomas was given a technical for complaining and coach Mike Brey sat him for five minutes.
Down by 17, the Irish closed to two twice on 3-pointers by Thomas and Dan Miller but could not get any closer. Gordon scored on a layup, and Tony Robertson made two throws as the Huskies regained control.
Okafor converted a three-point play with 6:23 left for a 75-66 lead.
TEXAS TECH 62, NO. 16 OKLAHOMA ST. 57: Andre Emmett scored 30 and the visiting Red Raiders rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit. Texas Tech (16-8, 6-7 Big 12) took a 39-38 lead with 12:17 left with a 16-3 run.
It remained a one-possession game until Emmett capped a 7-0 run with a three-point play to give Tech a 54-50 lead with 6:14 left. The Cowboys got within a point twice after that, the final time 58-57 on a follow by Ivan McFarlin with 1:52 left.
If the United States goes to war with Iraq and major developments occur during the NCAA Tournament, CBS might preempt its telecasts, ESPN.com reported. If that happens, CBS Sports president Sean McManus said CBS probably would shift the games to MTV, VH1 or TNN. The cable networks and CBS are owned by Viacom.
IOWA: Interim president Willard "Sandy" Boyd said the school will not punish guard Pierre Pierce, who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a student last year. Boyd said in a statement he did not take action because the victim did not want to participate.
SAINT JOSEPH'S 75, LA SALLE 53: Jameer Nelson scored 18 and Dwayne Jones had a career-high 14 rebounds for the visiting Hawks. Saint Joseph's (20-4, 10-3 Atlantic 10), the nation's leader in field-goal percentage defense, held the Explorers (10-14, 4-9) to 18-of-70 shooting from the field.
FAMU 72, NORFOLK ST. 62: Jermaine Hill scored 20 for the host Rattlers. FAMU (13-11, 8-7 MEAC) was up 12-2 and led the Spartans (11-13, 8-7) throughout.
HAMPTON 76, B-CC 69: Devin Green scored 21, including 12-of-13 from the free-throw line, for the visiting Pirates (15-8, 11-3 MEAC). Maurice Riddick led the Wildcats (6-18, 5-10) with 19 points. Green's basket put Hampton ahead for good at 66-64 with 5:30 left.