HARTFORD, Conn. - University of Connecticut senior guard Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) had 18 points and eight assists as UConn held off Cincinnati, 62-56, on Saturday at the XL Center in front of a crowd of 15,564. The Huskies, winners of three straight, improved to 9-5 overall and 2-1 in American Athletic Conference play with the win, while the Bearcats dropped to 11-4 and 2-1 in the league.
Troy Caupain had 14 points to lead Cincinnati (11-4, 2-1), which lost for the first time in five games.
Purvis put the Huskies up for good with a jumper that made it 46-45 midway through the second half, and UConn held the Bearcats to just nine points over the last 9:33.
This was the seventh consecutive game between the programs decided by seven points or fewer.
The Huskies shot 46 percent from the floor against a Cincinnati team that came into the game ranked seventh in the nation in scoring defense, holding opponents to 37 percent shooting and just 54.1 points per game.
UConn's defense had been limiting the opposition to 59.7 points.
The Bearcats fall to 4-2 under interim head coach Larry Davis. He took over coaching the team last month from Mick Cronin, who was diagnosed with an arterial problem in his brain and is serving in an advisory role for the rest of this season.
Cincinnati, which shot 48 percent from the floor in the first half, was just 8 of 26 from the floor (30.8 percent) in the second.
The Bearcats, who came in shooting less than 30 percent from 3-point range, were 4 of 8 from behind the arc in the first half, but just 1 of 10 after intermission.
Both teams used pressure defense early, forcing a combined eight turnovers in the first five minutes. There were 17 giveaways by halftime and each team turned the ball over 15 times during the game.
Cincinnati led by as many as six points in the first half, before steal and layup by Boatright just before the halftime buzzer cut the Bearcat's lead to 34-30.
The win was the 61st in Kevin Ollie's career. He's the fastest to reach the 60-win mark in school history.
Cincinnati: Octavius Ellis came into the game ranked third in the conference in blocked shots at 2.5 per game. He blocked six shots on Saturday, giving him 41 for the season.
UConn: UConn's defense had held their last four opponents to an average of 35.6 percent shooting. Cincinnati is the eighth UConn opponent this year to shoot under 40 percent.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats continue their road trip with a visit to Memphis on Thursday.
UConn: After playing their previous two games in Florida, UConn heads out on the road again, with games at Tulsa on Tuesday and Stanford next Saturday.