SOUTH BEND, Indiana (Ticker) -- As the saying goes, youth serves. In this instance, it served up an end to Notre Dame's 16-game home winning streak.
Ben Gordon scored 25 points, fellow sophomore Emeka Okafor had another huge game inside and freshman Rashad Anderson sank a career-high six 3-pointers as No. 24 Connecticut dealt an 87-79 Big East Conference loss to the 10th-ranked Fighting Irish.
Gordon scored nine points in the final 8 1/2 minutes to help hold off the Fighting Irish, who cut the margin to four points with just under four minutes left after trailing, 46-31, at halftime.
After Matt Carroll's layup sliced the deficit to 77-73 with 3:55 to go, freshman Marcus White had a tip-in and Okafor nailed a short jumper to give the Huskies (18-6, 9-4, Big East East) an 81-73 advantage with 2:46 remaining.
Notre Dame (21-6, 9-4 West) got no closer than five thereafter and lost at home for the first time since February 17, 2001 against Syracuse.
"The first thing I said when I went into the locker room at halftime was, 'They're going to make a run, they're a good team, so everybody just keep the composure,'" Gordon said.
Anderson matched his career high with 22 points. The 6-9 Okafor, who blocked nine shots against St. John's on Saturday, collected 19 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks.
The win boosts the Huskies' lead in the conference's East Division to a full game over second-place Villanova.
Carroll finished with 28 points and point guard Chris Thomas 19 for the Fighting Irish, who fell out of a first-place tie in the West Division with the loss.
"They played a great game, they hit big shot after big shot, especially in the first half," Carroll said. "They had an answer for everything."
Anderson, who scored 15 points in the first half, did his damage in 20 minutes off the bench.
After Carroll's jumper 4:46 into the game gave Notre Dame a 17-10 advantage, Anderson drained a pair of 3-pointers as the Huskies used a 12-2 burst to take a 22-19 edge on freshman Denham Brown's lay-in with 10:01 to go.
A short time later, Anderson's 3-pointer touched off a 14-3 burst that also was capped on a layup by Brown, giving the Huskies a 36-24 cushion with five minutes left.
"I just came out ready to play, like I always do," said Anderson, who shot 5-of-7 from behind the arc in the first half. "I come out ready to play every game, that's my mentality."
Tony Robertson had eight points and five assists off the bench and Gordon dished out eight assists for UConn, which shot 43 percent (31-of-72) from the field, including 9-of-19 from 3-point range.
White grabbed 14 rebounds to pace the Huskies to a 51-42 rebounding advantage.
"They made a real good run, but we just kept our poise, kept cool and pulled off the win," said Okafor. "People are going to try and test you. I haven't failed a test in awhile."
The Huskies matched their biggest lead at 53-36 on a free throw by Robertson at the 17:11 mark of the second half, but the Fighting Irish fought back.
Thomas and Carroll combined for 20 points as Notre Dame crafted a 29-12 burst, narrowing the gap to 65-63 on Thomas' 3-pointer with 9:11 left.
A key moment in the run came when Carroll sank four free throws after a foul by Anderson and a technical foul was called on Huskies' coach Jim Calhoun, who was coaching in his second game after missing the past five due to prostate surgery.
After Okafor answered Thomas' 3-pointer with a layup and Gordon hit a free throw, Dan Miller sliced the lead to two once more with a 3-pointer, but Gordon sank a layup and Robertson stole the ball and hit two free throws, boosting the lead to 72-66 with 7:43 remaining.
Miller added 13 points and Torin Francis netted eight and nine rebounds for the Fighting Irish, who shot 37 percent (28-of-76) from the field.