Kilpatrick hits late winner as Cincinnati downs UConnJan 19, 2012 - 5:13 AM Cincinnati lived by the three and almost died by it, too.
But when the final seconds ticked off, the Bearcats got their seventh straight road win in the Big East after escaping a rally in the final minutes to knock off the reigning NCAA champions on their own court.
"What a wild ending," Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said.
It sure was.
Sean Kilpatrick knocked down a tiebreaking three-pointer with 2.5 seconds left Wednesday night, and Cincinnati beat No. 13 Connecticut, 70-67, in a thrilling finish at Gampel Pavilion.
Cincinnati's 11th three-pointer of the game finally finished off the Huskies, coming after Shabazz Napier tied the game with a three at the other end.
Kilpatrick scored 16 points to lead Cincinnati (15-4, 5-1 Big East) while Cashmere Wright and Yancy Gates scored 13 apiece. The Bearcats' in-conference road winning streak includes three games this season -- all over ranked teams.
Napier had a game-high 27 points for the Huskies (14-4, 4-3) including a trio of three-pointers in the last 1 1/2 minutes. Jeremy Lamb added 14 points and Niels Giffey had 10.
After Kilpatrick's go-ahead three, Giffey got the inbounds pass and hit the rim on a 70-foot heave at the buzzer, although the shot didn't show up in the box score and may not have counted.
"You can't win a game on a last shot like that," he said.
Either way, Connecticut fell for the third time in five games with its final non-conference test of the season ahead at Tennessee on Saturday.
The Bearcats have won 10 of their last 11 games overall and continued their best start in Big East play since joining the conference before the 2005-06 season. They have also won road games at Pittsburgh and Georgetown this year and will get a chance to extend their streak at West Virginia on Saturday.
Cincinnati led by as many as 12 points in the first half and was ahead by eight with under three minutes remaining in the game before Napier pulled up for a three-pointer near the top of the arc to get UConn within 65-60.
After Dion Dixon went 1-for-2 at the line, Napier drained a three from the right side to make it a three-point game. Dixon and Napier exchanged free throws after that and Napier hit his third three-pointer in the final minute, again from the right side, to tie the game.
At the other end, however, Kilpatrick dribbled on the right side and pulled up near the top to bury his go-ahead shot, helping the Bearcats end a two-game losing streak to UConn.
"I was super surprised when he made that last three. I gave him a little nudge in the leg and that always takes somebody off their shot," said Napier.
"Jeremy touched his fingers -- he played good defense on him. And for him to make that shot was tough."
Kilpatrick and Wright scored 10 points apiece in the first half to lead Cincy to a 42-33 advantage at the break.
The Bearcats were 6-for-10 on three-pointers at one point and had a 31-19 lead, but UConn closed the gap later in the half with the help of a 9-0 run.
Cincinnati ended 11-for-26 on three-pointers and shot 41.9 percent overall...UConn shot 44.1 percent, including 6-of-16 from three-point range, and still owns a 7-3 advantage in the all-time series.
- CINCINNATI: 70
Jan 18 9:01 PM
- CINCINNATI: 42
Jan 18 7:49 PM
- CINCINNATI: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Jan 18 7:04 PM
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