CHESTNUT HILL, Massachusetts (Ticker) -- If this was Jim Calhoun's final trip to Conte Forum, it ended with a well-earned win.
Freshman Josh Boone had a pair of big rebounds down the stretch as eighth-ranked Connecticut survived a stiff challenge with a 63-58 Big East Conference victory over Boston College.
Calhoun made pointed remarks before the season about Boston College's impending move to the Atlantic Coast Conference, stating he would refuse to schedule the Eagles in the future. Boston College is set to join the ACC for the 2005-06 campaign and it is unclear whether the schools will meet next season.
BC (13-7, 2-5) was able to control the tempo throughout, keeping things close. It had a chance to go ahead, but Craig Smith threw away a pass right to Taliek Brown, who raced in for an uncontested layup and a 55-53 edge with 2:42 to go.
"He just tried to throw the ball back and reverse, but I was denying and I got a great steal, got the layup and it was over from there on out," Brown said.
That gave the Huskies the lead for good, but the key sequence came after Brown was fouled with 24 seconds left and UConn (17-3, 5-1) ahead, 58-56. Brown - a career 58 percent foul shooter - missed both free throws, but Boone was left loose for a tip-in and a four-point edge.
BC freshman Jared Dudley missed a 3-pointer with nine seconds remaining and Boone flew in to beat a pair of Eagles to the rebound and seal the triumph.
"Today was a game where definitely a couple of possessions decided the game," Eagles coach Al Skinner said. "The turnover when the game was tied that led to a transition layup and then obviously not getting the missed free throw rebound, that was the ballgame."
The game was a huge departure from UConn's 91-54 rout here last season - BC's worst loss at Conte Forum. The Huskies were held below 65 points for only the third time this season.
"I thought Al's team kept the game in control and right where they wanted it," Calhoun said. "Then you come down to two minutes to go, someone's going to make a play and someone's not going to make a play and that's part of basketball."
UConn earned the win thanks to its defense, which limited BC to 37 percent (22-of-60) shooting. The Eagles were 4-of-16 from the arc.
Emeka Okafor and reserve Rashad Anderson scored 16 points apiece to lead the Huskies, but Okafor was limited to six rebounds. UConn held a 32-18 advantage in points in the paint to overcome 13-of-26 foul shooting.
"We doubled them in points in the paint, so we did a good job with that," Calhoun said. "Emeka may have only had 16, but he was 2-for-9 from the line, so he should've had the equivalency of a 25-point game."
Smith collected 18 points and seven rebounds to lead BC, which has lost 28 of the last 30 meetings with UConn.