Live Blog - Defending Champs Visit Purcell

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12:46 p.m., Huskies 67-53, Final - Tri-captain Scott Martin came up with eight points in the final two minutes for Notre Dame, but it was not nearly enough to erase the deficit for the Irish. The Huskies cruised down the second half stretch, winning 67-53 and ending Notre Dame's 29-game home winning streak.

It almost seemed like there was a lid on the hoop today. Notre Dame got plenty of good looks, but shot after shot seemed to bounce out. Some might wonder if the early tipoff got the best of Notre Dame, but Coach Brey explained after Tuesday's game that with no classes, they would practice early all week and regardless, Saturday practices are usually held in the mid-morning.

It's a rare occasion when fans leave the Purcell in disappointment. Truthfully, there is nothing particularly intimidating about the arena, at least when compared to many other environments among college basketball's elite teams. Still, the Irish tend to play very well in the comfort of their own home and losses here are few and far between.

Coach Brey's team will travel to New Jersey for a matchup with Rutgers on Monday night, before the chance to start a new home winning streak next Saturday. It should be an incredible atmosphere as currently undefeated and top-ranked Syracuse visits for a 6 p.m. tipoff. If you can't make it to the game, catch it live on ESPN or follow the action right here on Irish UNDerground.

12:37 p.m., Huskies 58-43, 2:07 second half - Coach Brey probably wishes he had five Eric Atkins for today's game. The sophomore's three-pointer gives him 20 points for the game, nearly half of Notre Dame's scoring.

12:33 p.m., Huskies 54-40, 3:16 second half - It began as a promising morning behind the arc, but the Irish, now 5-for-18 from deep, have not hit a three since midway through the first half. Tom Knight tips in a miss from Atkins, but the Huskies' respond with a three from Giffey.

Nearly three years ago, the Irish had won 45 in a row when ESPN's College GameDay visited campus. The Huskies won that game and barring some late game magic, it looks like they may break another impressive Notre Dame home winning streak here today.

12:28 p.m., Huskies 50-38, 6:15 second half - After a pair of free throws from Napier and a jumper by Niels Giffey, UConn's lead climbs to 12 and Coach Brey calls a timeout. With the way Notre Dame is shooting today, it's going to be a long road back from this deficit.

12:24 p.m., Huskies 46-38, 7:07 second half - They're letting them play this afternoon. With just over seven minutes to play, each team has only three fouls in the half. Andre Drummond responds to Notre Dame's 5-0 run with a pair of baskets to push UConn's lead back to eight. Notre Dame's band breaks into A-ha's "Take on Me" during the media timeout.

12:20 p.m., Huskies 42-38, 9:20 second half - Connaughton makes a nice move to the hope, but can't finish. Cooley comes down with the board, puts it back and draws the foul. The and-1 brings the crowd to its feet. The Irish force a turnover and a fast break layup from Atkins brings Notre Dame to within four points. UConn coach Jim Calhoun calls a timeout. Purcell is rocking now.

12:15 p.m., Huskies 41-33, 10:20 second half - Notre Dame's offensive struggles continue as Grant misses a pair of free throws and Drummond hits a shot to give UConn its largest lead, 39-31. Freshman Pat Connaughton responds with a two-handed jam that ignites the crowd, but the Irish give up a short jumper to Roscoe Smith and the deficit remains at eight. Against USF on Tuesday, the Penn High School cheerleading team filled in. Today the PA announcer thanks the St. Joseph's High School cheerleaders for doing a fine job in place of Notre Dame's squad.

12:10 p.m., Huskies 37-31, 12:40 second half - Martin hits a short jumper, but turns it over on the next possession and Lamb takes it the other way for a layup. Unless Notre Dame starts knocking down some shots, it cannot afford to fall behind by much. The "Dance Cam" makes an appearance with The Isley Brothers' "Shout," before the band gets everyone chanting "so good, so good, so good" with Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline." As a Red Sox fan, this song always reminds me of Fenway Park.

12:03 p.m., Huskies 31-29, 15:14 second half - Atkins must like these morning games. With 15 points, the sophomore point guard continues to carry the Irish offensively. After Shabazz Napier's 3-pointer gave UConn a 29-27 lead, Atkins hit a floater to tie the score. Unfortunately nothing seems to be falling for the rest of the Irish. C+C Music Factory's "Everybody Dance Now" keeps the crowd involved during the TV break.

11:58 a.m., Huskies 26-25, 19:23 second half - Oriakhi scores the first basket of the second half to put the Huskies back in front.

11:52 a.m. - Almost set for the second half. Atkins is 5-for-7 from the field, but the rest of the Irish are just 4-for-22. Someone else will have to step up offensively for Notre Dame to extend its home winning streak and knock off the defending champion and #17 Huskies.

11:50 a.m. - I would try to describe what just happened at mid court, but I cannot. It was a gymnastics-like performance from Argentina's The Anton Brothers, who according to their Facebook page are "6th generation circus performers traveling and performing all over the world." Looked sort of painful to me.

11:41 a.m., Irish 25-24, Halftime - Atkins responds with another basket after the timeout, but misses the front end of a one-and-one with 16 seconds left. UConn comes down and tips in a shot at the buzzer, but it's late. Irish keep the lead heading to the locker room.

11:38 a.m., Huskies 24-23, 1:31 1st half - Coach Brey calls a quick timeout after a 6-0 UConn run and putback slam from Tyler Olander gives the Huskies a one-point lead.

11:32 a.m., Irish 21-18, 3:57 1st half - With 11 of the team's 21 points, Atkins has been the star so far for Notre Dame. The Irish are playing great defense right now, holding UConn scoreless since the 8:01 mark. Lamb makes a nice move to the basket, and scores the bucket, but is whistled for an offensive foul as we head to the final media timeout of the first half. The Band of the Fighting Irish performs Britney Spears' "Till The World Ends," before returning to its roots with the Notre Dame Victory March.

11:25 a.m., Irish 19-18, 7:03 1st half - It has been a 3-pt show so far for Notre Dame with 15 of their 19 points coming from beyond the arc (including nine from Atkins). A big challenge for the rest of this game will be defending Oriakhi, UConn's 6-foot-9 forward who leads the team with six points. The ND band plays "Crazy Train" during the timeout.

11:16 am., Huskies 12-9, 11:31 1st half - A quick turnaround for the under-12 media timeout. Not much action since the previous one. Grant hit another three to pull the Irish within one, but seemed a little anxious on the next two possessions and missed a pair from deep.

11:10 a.m., Huskies 12-8, 13:14 1st half - During the first media timeout, an announcement was made in honor of Meyer's 1000th game. Notre Dame band breaks out into one of its favorite tunes, LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem."

The teams have been trading shots, with the Huskies knocking down two in a row to take a four-point lead. Martin hit a mid-range jumper to get the Irish on the board, before Atkins hit a three from the corner. Grant followed with a three shortly later. There's a very vocal Irish fan just behind the media row, which should make this morning's game even more entertaining for me. So far he's had some very nice things to say about the officiating crew....

11:02 a.m. - Huskies win the tip and pick up a quick foul against Scott Martin. Oriakhi hits the pair to give UConn an early lead.

11:00 a.m. - Game time here at Purcell! Dave Pasch and Doris Burke are calling the game on ESPN2. It's game #1000 for Irish trainer Skip Meyer. A Torrington, Conn. native, Meyer has been with the Irish since the 1979 season. I'm sure he would love nothing more than a victory over his home state team this morning.

10:58 a.m. - Starters for today's game... UConn: DeAndre Daniels, Alex Oriakhi, Andre Drummond, Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier. For the Irish: Jack Cooley, Eric Atkins, Alex Dragicevich, Scott Martin and Jerian Grant.

10:52 a.m. - The Irish have taken the floor to the sound of the greatest of all university fight songs. Just a few minutes until tip-off and the crowd is filling in, but it looks like some of the fans forgot to set their alarms this morning.

10:50 a.m. - T.I.'s "Bring 'Em Out"... Now this reminds me of high school.

10:45 a.m. - During my high school playing days, our warm-up playlist included the likes of 90's jock jams and the popular Jay-Z/Linkin Park mashup. The Irish have gone the club hits route, playing everything from Jennifer Lopez to Usher this morning. Definitely a good way to make sure the crowd stays awake before tip-off.

10:30 a.m. - With the second semester set to begin on Tuesday, most students are still traveling back to South Bend and the Notre Dame band is smaller than normal. They just broke out in the Notre Dame Victory March. The Clay High School band did a fine job on Tuesday vs. USF, but there's nothing quite like the Band of the Fighting Irish.

10:15 a.m. - It was an early wake-up call for the Notre Dame and Connecticut men's basketball teams this morning. An 11 a.m. tip-off reminds me of my middle school days. Even though he's out for the season with a torn ACL, Irish fans should be happy to see Tim Abromaitis walking around without crutches.

The roads are much better today than they were last night and with about 45 minutes until tip, fans are starting to file in for the big game. More updates coming soon, and as always GO IRISH.

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