Yale - UConn football

Yale stuns UConn on game-winning three by Jack Montague

AP PhotoAP Photo

STORRS, Conn. (WTNH)–It is arguably the greatest moment in Yale basketball history, authored by a (barely) 6-0 guard who hadn’t made a shot all game.

Junior Jack Montague didn’t hesitate when he took the inbounds pass from Javier Duren in the left corner of the visiting team’s end at Gampel Pavilion on Friday night, the same exact spot where Texas’ Jonathan Holmes had buried a game-winning three to beat the Huskies just days earlier.

Coach James Jones had told him he was going to make a big shot that night. So Montague just caught it and shot it, and in that transitory, fluid motion, gave the Elis (8-2) their greatest basketball triumph since John F. Kennedy was president, a 45-44 win at defending national champion UConn.

“I made one back in high school, to beat our rival, ” Montague said. “But it doesn’t compare to this. This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment, and something we’ll remember forever.”

“I told him earlier in the half, ‘listen, you’re going to hit a big shot. Just keep looking for it, keep shooting it, '” Jones said. “So I felt really great about him having the opportunity to shoot it. It was amazing that it fell in, and I’m still in disbelief.”

“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, ” he said.

Montague certainly will. The junior from Brentwood, Tennessee, was averaging just 9.2 points per game and had been 0-for-7 from the field before his shot heard ’round the state. It was his only basket of the night.

The loss was UConn’s third straight (West Virginia, Texas were the first two), and it dropped the Huskies to 3-3 on the season.

(AP Photo/Fred Beckham)“We’re at the bottom right now, ” head coach Kevin Ollie said. “That corner is not my favorite corner right now.”

UConn had not lost a game to an in-state rival since Jim Calhoun’s first season in 1986, when it fell to the University of Hartford. The Huskies also lost to Yale that season.

Amida Brimah led UConn with 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting. Sam Cassell Jr. was the only other Husky in double figures, with 12. Ryan Boatright, who rolled his ankle as Jonathan Holmes hit the game-winner for Texas on Sunday, did not score in the first half and finished with just 6 points on 3-of-9 shooting. He hadn’t practiced much this week and had been questionable for the game until Friday.

Senior guard Javier Duren led the Bulldogs with 15 points, while Justin Sears scored 12 points and ripped down a game-high 15 rebounds.

Yale outrebounded UConn, 36-25, and the Huskies had just one offensive rebound in the game.

“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, ” Ollie said. “One offensive rebound isn’t going to beat anybody.”

From the AP:


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.

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