Napier leads UConn over Cincinnati in OT, 73-66.
By PAT EATON-ROBB
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Shabazz Napier scored 11 of his 27 points in overtime as Connecticut beat Cincinnati 73-66 on Thursday night.
DeAndre Daniels added 17 points and tied a career high with four blocked shots for the Huskies (18-7, 8-5 Big East).
Sean Kilpatrick had 13 of his 18 points after halftime and JaQuon Parker added 14 for Cincinnati (19-8, 7-7), which lost for the fourth time in five games.
The teams were tied a 55 before Napier hit two 3-pointers as part of a 6-2 UConn run to open overtime.
A layup by Kilpatrick made it 63-60, before Napier buried a third with a minute left.
Jermaine Sanders layup cut the lead to four with 43 seconds left and the Bearcats began to foul. UConn made seven of eight free throws down the stretch.
Ryan Boatright and Daniels each hit a pair and Omar Calhoun made one of two, before Napier sealed it with a pair.
Titus Rubles and Justin Jackson each fouled out in overtime for Cincinnati.
A 10-2 run, sparked by a 3-pointer by Kilpatrick, had given the Bearcats a 53-47 lead with just over 4 minutes to play in regulation.
But the Huskies scored the next six. A free throw by Napier tied the game at 53 with 1:30 left. Rubles hit a put-back to give the Bearcats back the lead, and Napier tied it again on an off-balance driving layup with 40 seconds left.
Wright turned the ball over in the back court setting up the final shot, but Napier missed a contested layup, sending the game into overtime tied at 55.
UConn was 10-of-19 from 3-point range, and Napier hit six of his nine shots from behind the arc.
The Huskies had six 3-pointers in the first half, as it built a 37-34 halftime lead. Cincinnati, meanwhile found its success inside, with 34 points in the paint. The Bearcats outrebounded UConn 44-28 and had 17 offensive boards.
UConn had given up 20 offensive rebounds in each of the last two games, leading to a combined 36 second-chance points. The Bearcats had 17 on Thursday.
A Rubles foul shot cut UConn's lead to 43-41 with 17:23 left in the game and it stayed that score for the next 7 minutes, until a Rubles banked in a long 2-point jump shot to tie it.
UConn missed seven straight shots and was held without a field goal for almost 9 minutes before a Tyler Olander dunk gave them a 45-43 lead. The Huskies had just three baskets in the first 13 minutes of the second half.
The Bearcats had hit five of their first eight shots in the game and held Boatright and Napier scoreless over the first 5 minutes.
But Napier got the pair going by hitting consecutive 3-pointers to give UConn its first lead at 13-11.
He and Boatright combined for 18 first-half points, after scoring just six in the Huskies loss to Villanova on Saturday. Boatright finished with nine points on 3-of-12 shooting.
The Bearcats guards, Cashmere Wright, Sean Kilpatrick and JaQuon Parker, average just over 42 points per game, and had 42 Thursday. UConn's trio of Boatright, Napier and Omar Calhoun came in averaging 43 points and had 46.
Calhoun had injured his right wrist in Saturday's loss to Villanova and played with that hand wrapped. His first points came on a goaltending call and he took just three shots, scoring 10 points.
Cincinnati came in looking for its third consecutive 20-win season. They have lost four of their last five games, including a 62-55 setback at home to Georgetown.
The teams will play again on March 2 in Cincinnati.
Updated February 21, 2013