UConn wins the dog show, national title

Gerry Ahern
Yahoo! Sports
Kemba Walker (left) had trouble finding space, but he finished with a team-high 16 points on 5-for-21 shooting for the Huskies

UConn wins the dog show, national title

Kemba Walker (left) had trouble finding space, but he finished with a team-high 16 points on 5-for-21 shooting for the Huskies

HOUSTON – They call soccer the "Beautiful Game."

Call this one of the ugliest NCAA championship games in history.

Connecticut claimed the crown Monday night, pulling away from cold-shooting Butler in the second half 53-41 at Reliant Stadium.

The championship was the third for the Huskies (32-9) and coach Jim Calhoun. The loss was the second in a row in the title game for the Bulldogs (28-10) who couldn't buy a basket, shooting just 18.8 percent (12-for-64) for the game – the worst performance in title game history.

Connecticut's 53 points were the fewest for an NCAA champion since 1949. Butler's 41 were the lowest by a loser since that same year.

Kemba Walker (16 points, nine rebounds), Jeremy Lamb (12 points, seven rebounds) and Alex Oriakhi (11 points, 11 rebounds) carried UConn over the hump.

The Huskies held a commanding lead on the glass, outrebounding the Bulldogs 53-41. UConn shot just 34.5 percent for the game, but that was more than good enough.

Shelvin Mack (13 points, nine rebounds), Chase Stigall (nine points) and Matt Howard (seven points on 1-of-13 shooting, six rebounds) led Butler.

The Bulldogs actually led 22-19 at halftime on a 3-pointer just before the buzzer by Mack. Mack missed his first four shots before making a pair of treys, the last two hoops of the opening session.

Both teams shot less than 30 percent in the first half. Butler was 6-of-27 (22.2 percent), Connecticut 9-of-31 (29 percent). The Bulldogs had one two-point field goal over the first 20 minutes.

It was the lowest scoring first half in the national championship game since 1946 (40 total points – Oklahoma State 23, North Carolina 17.

In a season that was full of surprises, this one turned out to be a dog.

It was the Huskies who came away with the ribbon.

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