STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Freshman James Bouknight scored 23 points, including two key free throws in overtime, as UConn upset Cincinnati 72-71 in the American Athletic Conference on Sunday.
Christian Vital added 19 points for the Huskies (13-10, 4-6 American), who had lost seven games this season by seven points or fewer.
Cincinnati’s Jarron Cumberland’s jump shot attempt at the buzzer was waved off and he did not get a foul call.
Tre Scott scored 25 points and Keith Williams added 14 for Cincinnati (15-8, 8-3), which had won five straight to share the American Athletic Conference lead.
The team’s were tied at 67 after regulation and Scott’s one-handed bank shot gave Cincy a 71-68 lead with just over two minutes remaining in extra time.
But Christian Vital grabbed a rebound after a missed 3-pointer from Brandan Adams and his second-chance layup pulled the Huskies to within a point. Booknight was then fouled on a drive into the lane on the Huskies next possession and the two foul shots turned out to be the winning points.
Cincinnati had several chances to win.
Jarron Cumberland missed a driving layup attempt with 2.7 seconds to go. UConn was awarded the ball, but after a review it was given back to the Bearcats setting up the final play.
The Bearcats led 67-65 in regulation before a Vital steal led to a Bouknight jumper that tied the game with 1:06 to go.
Cumberland had two chances to win the game before the OT period. His spinning attempt in the lane missed and after a UConn turnover, he dribbled the ball off his foot.
A shot by Vital from beyond half court at the buzzer skimmed the rim.
The Bearcats led for most of the first half and took a 10-point advantage at 28-18 on a 3-pointer from the left baseline by Keith Williams.
But UConn answered with two straight 3-pointers from Brendan Adams and another by Vita and took their first lead at 29-28 on a pair of free throws by Jalen Gaffney.
A jumper by Bouknight capped the 16-2 run and sent UConn into halftime leading 34-30.
Cincinnati: This was the 30th meeting between the two schools and the last scheduled as conference rivals. UConn leaves to rejoin the Big East at the end of the season. The Bearcats had won the previous eight meetings between the two teams and 10 of the last 11.
UConn: The Huskies marked the 30th anniversary of Gampel Pavilion honoring Hall-of-Fame coach Jim Calhoun and the members of the 1989-90 “Dream Team” that lost to Duke in the NCAA regional finals. The Huskies are (3-7) in 2020, but only the 16-point loss at Cincinnati came by double digits.