Junior guard Kemba Walker scored a game-best 16 points Monday night to help the No. 3-seeded Connecticut Huskies earn their third NCAA men's basketball National Championship by beating No. 8 Butler Bulldogs, 53-41, at Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX. Sophomore forward Alex Oriakhi chipped in with 11 points, 11 rebounds and four block for the UConn basketball program, which capped its season by winning 11 consecutive games, including five in five days to earn the 2011 Big East Tournament Championship.
The Huskies (32-9), who trailed 25-19 just 20 second into the second half, used a 8-0 run, capped by a Walker free throw to take a 27-25 lead they'd never relinquish. UConn's historic run was made possible by a record-setting performance by the Butler basketball program, which shot just 12-of-64 (18.8 percent) from the field. At one point (about seven minutes remaining), the Bulldogs (28-10) had shot just 8-of-52 (15.3).
By that point, UConn has pushed its margin to 41-30 and it was just too much for the ice-cold Bulldogs to try to mount a comeback.
Freshman guard Jeremy Lamb finished the game with 12 points and seven rebounds for UConn, which helped its head coach, Jim Calhoun, 68, become the oldest coach to collect a national title. Calhoun's last championship came in 2004 when the Huskies downed Georgia Tech, 82.73. His first came in 1999 with a victory against Duke, 77-74.
Junior guard Shelvin Mack scored a team-best 13 points for Butler, which lost to Duke, 61-59, in last year's National Championship game. Senior forward Matt Howard collected seven points and six rebounds.