Yale upsets UConn 45-44 on Montague's 3-pointer
STORRS, Conn. (AP) A 3-point shot by Yale's Jack Montague ended 28 years of frustration for the Bulldogs against in-state rival UConn and gave the Ivy League program what coach James Jones called its signature win.
Montague's basket from the left corner with 1.7 seconds left lifted Yale (8-2) to the 45-44 upset of the defending national champions on Friday night, their first victory against the Huskies after 13 consecutive losses dating back to 1986.
It was Montague's only basket of the night.
''I told the guys in the locker room, no matter how old they get, if they get Alzheimer's or dementia, they'll remember this for the rest of their lives,'' said Jones.
The loss was the third straight for UConn (3-3), which did not drop more than two in a row all last year.
''We're at the bottom right now,'' said UConn coach Kevin Ollie.
Javier Duren had 15 points and Justin Sears added 12 point and 15 rebounds to lead Yale.
Amida Brimah scored 14 points and freshman guard Sam Cassell Jr. added 12 points for the Huskies.
UConn trailed for all but 3 1/2 minutes of the game, but had its biggest lead at 44-40 after a pair of free throws from Cassell with 22.6 seconds left.
The Bulldogs cut the lead back to two on a pair of foul shots from Sears and Ryan Boatright missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 11 seconds left.
Sears fumbled the ball in the frontcourt, but it went out of bounds off UConn's Phil Nolan setting up Yale's final play with 3.5 seconds left.
Javier Duren, inbounding from the baseline, found Montague in the corner who hit the shot falling away over a leaping Cassell.
The Bulldogs had made just two of 20 shots from 3-point range before Montague's game-winner.
''All the coaches told me, `Don't worry, your shot's coming, your shot's coming,''' Montague said. ''Even though I had a bad shooting night, the last one ended up pretty good.''
The basket came from almost the same spot where Texas' Jonathan Holmes beat the Huskies in the final seconds on Sunday.
''Both shots hit me to the heart,'' said Cassell. ''Seeing both those shots going in the same way, it's just crazy.''
Ollie said UConn lost the game on the boards. Yale outrebounded the Huskies 36-25, and held them to just one offensive rebound, while grabbing 13 of their own.
''We've got to find some toughness in that locker room somewhere, because I'm not a loser and the guys in there in that locker room are not losers,'' he said.
Boatright, who had been averaging more than 20 points a game, didn't hit a shot until midway through the second half and finished with six points on 3-for-9 shooting.
He was playing on a sprained left ankle, which he injured Sunday trying to contest what turned out to be the game-winning shot against Texas. The senior had not missed a game, and until this week had never missed a UConn practice due to injury.
The Huskies missed eight straight shots during a 12-0 Yale run that gave the Bulldogs an early 17-6 lead.
It was 21-9 before the Huskies began pressing. That led to a 10-3 UConn run to close the half, but Yale went into into the locker room up 24-19.
UConn last lost to the Bulldogs' on Dec. 2, 1986, 77-75 in overtime in New Haven. Yale won 12 of the first 14 games between the schools, but UConn had won 28 of the last 30.
UConn: The Huskies had won 68 straight games against teams from Connecticut. Their last loss came on Dec. 29, 1986 to the University of Hartford, 49-48 at the Hartford Civic Center. That was Jim Calhoun's first season as UConn's coach.
Yale: The Bulldogs held the Huskies to 22 points below UConn's season average. Yale came into the game allowing just 61 points a game, and were outrebounding opponents by more than 8 boards a game.
Yale plays its second consecutive game against a team from last season's Final Four when it visits Florida on Sunday.
UConn has more than a week off for final exams before facing Coppin State in Hartford on Dec. 14.
Yale won despite shooting 32 percent from the floor and 3 of 21 from 3-point range (14.3 percent). The Huskies shot 44.2 percent from the floor, but hit just 2 of 11 from behind the arc.