Shabazz Napier scored a career-high 27 points Wednesday night.
Jan. 18, 2012
STORRS, Conn. (AP) - Sean Kilpatrick hit a three-point field goals with 2.7 seconds left and Cincinnati beat the No. 13-ranked University of Connecticut men's basketball team by a 70-67 on Wednesday night before a sellout crowd of 10,167 at Gampel Pavilion. It was the Bearcats' seventh-straight road victory in the BIG EAST.
Kilpatrick scored 16 points to lead five Bearcats in double figures as Cincinnati (15-4, 5-1 BIG ESAT) withstood two big UConn second-half runs and a half-court shot by sophomore Niels Giffey (Berlin, Germany) at the buzzer that rimmed out.
Cashmere Wright and Yancy Gates each had 13 points for Cincinnati, which sits just behind Syracuse for the conference lead. UConn sophomore guard Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) had a career-high 27 points to lead Connecticut (14-4, 4-3), which lost for the first time at home this season.
Cincinnati took 26 shots from behind the arc, hitting 11 of them. Cincinnati led by 12 points in the first half and nine at halftime. But the Bearcats trailed 57-55 before a three-pointer by Kilpatrick, one of his five in the game, and a late 10-0 turned that into a 65-57 lead.
A three-point shot by Napier cut it to 66-63 with just over a minute left, and another tied it with 10 seconds to go. But the Bearcats took the ball up the court and Kilpatrick calmly launched his shot from behind the top of the key. Dion Dixon and JaQuon Parker each added 12 points for Cincinnati, which won its third straight. Cincinnati led 48-37 just under 4 minutes into the second half when UConn went on its 15-2 run.
A block by freshman Andre Drummond (Middletown, Conn.) and a layup by sophomore Jeremy Lamb (Norcross, Ga.) at the other end made it 48-44. A two-handed fast-break dunk by Drummond tied it and sophomore Roscoe Smith's (Baltimore, Md.) layup gave the Huskies their first lead of the half at 52-50.
Kilpatrick had eight early points and Cincinnati used an early 8-0 run to take a 21-15 lead. Consecutive 3-pointers by Wright and JaQuon Parker stretched the lead to 10 at 29-19.
Napier kept the Huskies in the game with 13 first-half points, but Cincinnati led 42-33 at the half on a tip-in by Jeremiah Davis just before the buzzer. Cincinnati is 5-1 on the road and 5-1 in conference play. The Bearcats had won nine of their last 10 games, including consecutive conference wins over No. 10 Georgetown and Villanova. The start is the team's best since joining the BIG EAST in 2005. Cincinnati has won six of its last eight games against ranked opponents.
Gates starting for the third time since his six-game suspension for his part in the Dec. 10 brawl against Xavier also had 12 rebounds, and held Drummond to just four points. Drummond was coming off three consecutive double-doubles, making him the first UConn freshman to do that since Corny Thompson back in 1978-79.
Connecticut and Cincinnati had not played since UConn's 69-58 win in the third round of the NCAA tournament last March, part of the Huskies 11-0 postseason run to the national title.
Connecticut plays it final nonconference game of the season Saturday at Tennessee at 4:00 p.m. The game will be televised by CBS and heard on the WTIC-UConn Radio Network.