John F. SilverCincinnati’s Sean Kilpatrick won the showdown with Shabazz Napier on Thursday.
He also won the game to keep No. 7 Cincinnati undefeated in the AAC.
Kilpatrick scored 26 points, 17 in the second half, as Cincinnati rallied from a 10-point deficit to beat UConn 63-58.
Kilpatrick and Napier are two leaders for AAC Player of the Year and Kilpatrick got the best of Napier Thursday. Kilpatrick was 8 of 15 from the floor while Napier was 5 of 18 in defeat, 2 of 12 from 3-point range, and scored 16 points.
UConn led 31-21 in the first half, but had its offense shutdown after that as Cincinnati’s bruising defense kept the Huskies out of the lane. UConn was playing its second consecutive game without DeAndre Daniels and couldn’t pick up the slack. Cincinnati held a 34-20 advantage in the paint.
Cincinnati remained undefeated in conference and is 22-2 and 11-0. UConn drops to 17-5, 5-4 in conference.
Lasan Kromah had 13 points, most of them early, and Niels Giffey 10. Ryan Boatright was 3 of 9 for nine points for the Huskies, who shot only 39 percent and 5 of 21 from 3-point range.
UConn had a chance late. A Boatright 3 cut the lead to 59-58 before a pair of free-throws from Jermaine Sanders gave Cincinnati a 61-58 lead with 16 seconds left. The Huskies ran a play for Boatright, but he didn’t shoot it and was swallowed up on the dribble. Giffey got off a contested, but clean look at the basket but couldn’t connect. Kilpatrick was fouled and hit both free throws to seal the game.
Justin Jackson had 15 points for Cincinnati.