HARTFORD, Connecticut (Ticker) -- For one last time, Ryan Gomes was the one that got away from Connecticut.
Gomes collected 26 points and 12 rebounds as Providence used a late tear for a 66-56 Big East Conference victory over the fourth-ranked Huskies at the Hartford Civic Center.
Gomes hails from Waterbury, Connecticut and was not recruited by the Huskies. The 6-7 senior forward showed Jim Calhoun once again that he made a mistake by outshining All-American candidate Emeka Okafor.
"It is a good win for us, not just because I'm from Connecticut, but it was for first place in the Big East, for us to come here on the road and get the win makes it little better," Gomes said. "We just came in as if this was just another Big East Game that we had to win and we came out and did it."
Sheiku Kabba's back-to-back 3-pointers gave Providence (13-3, 4-1 Big East) a 54-50 lead with 5:26 to go. The Friars played their 2-3 zone to perfection down the stretch, limiting the Huskies to three baskets in the final eight minutes.
"Our guys are a very confident bunch, they all think they can make shots and they all can make shots," Providence coach Tim Welsh said. "We had the two threes from Sheiku. It gave us a little bit more hop in their step on defense."
Okafor finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead Connecticut (15-3, 3-1), which lost at home to Providence for the second straight season. The Huskies became the final Big East team to lose a conference game.
"We obviously have some work to do," Huskies coach Jim Calhoun said. "Obviously I'm not particularly pleased. I thought that two of the better players in the league Ryan and Emeka really acquitted themselves well."
Kabba scored all 10 points in the final nine minutes and was the only other Friar in double figures. Providence took excellent care of the ball, committing only six turnovers.
Gomes made his presence felt early, scoring seven points in a 15-4 run to give Providence an early 22-12 lead. Connecticut countered with the next 10 points, but the Friars held a 35-29 lead at halftime.
"I said it before the game that he (Gomes) was one of the best in the country and my statement still stands," Okafor said. "You just go out there and try and play good 'D'."
Ben Gordon, playing his first game since Wednesday's surgery to repair a broken nose, had a rough afternoon. Gordon finished with nine points on 4-of-11 shooting along with seven assists and five turnovers.
The Huskies were held to their lowest point total and fell to 12-1 at home this season.