Cincinnati won its seventh straight BIG EAST road game - dating to last season - and picked up what might have been its most impressive victory of the year in the process as the Bearcats held off No. 13/11 Connecticut at Gampel Pavilion.
The Bearcats had built an 11-point lead in the second half and withstood a pair of comeback bids by the Huskies, including a 3-pointer by Shabbaz Napier that tied the game with 10 seconds left. But Cincinnati turned to guard Sean Kilpatrick, whose 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left delivered the game-winning points. Kilpatrick finished with a team-high 16 points to lead five Cincinnati players in double figures. Forward Yancy Gates and guard Cashmere Wright had 13 points each.
The Bearcats, who made 11 3-pointers, improved to 15-4 overall and remained in second place in the BIG EAST at 5-1 in conference play.
Connecticut was paced by Napier, who had a career-high 27 points. The Huskies fell to 14-4 overall and 4-3 in BIG EAST play.
While Cincinnati has proven to be the BIG EAST's road warriors, USF has quietly crept toward the top of the standings by winning consistently on its home court. The Bulls improved to 10-1 at home this season with a 64-49 win against St. John's at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The Bulls, who improved to 11-8 overall and 4-2 in BIG EAST play, have surpassed last season's win totals in both categories. They won Wednesday behind the play of forward Victor Rudd Jr., who scored all of his game-high 24 points in the second half. Jawanza Poland came off the bench to add 16 points.
St. John's fell to 8-10 overall and 2-5 in the BIG EAST with the loss. Guard Moe Harkless led the Red Storm with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Villanova picked up its second BIG EAST win of the year as the Wildcats roade a career day from forward JayVaughn Pinkston to an 84-76 win against Seton Hall at the Pavilion. Pinkston enjoyed his first career double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds, while guard Maalik Wayns led the scoring with 25 points. The Wildcats enjoyed a 34-12 advantage at the free throw line.
Seton Hall (15-4, 4-3 BIG EAST) dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season. Forward Fuquan Edwin had a team-high 14 points for the Pirates.
West Viginia closed the nonconference portion of its regular-season schedule with a 78-62 win against Marshall in Charleston, W.Va. Forward Kevin Jones - the BIG EAST scoring and rebounding leader - had 25 points and seven boards, while guard Darryl Bryant had 22 points and seven rebounds as the Mountaineers pulled away in the second half. West Virginia improved to 14-5 on the year.
BIG EAST arenas are dark Thursday and Friday, but a busy Saturday awaits fans of the conference.
Top-ranked Syracuse heads to Notre Dame in search of its 21st straight victory to open the season (6 p.m., ESPN). Pittsburgh hosts No. 23/21 Louisville at 9 p.m. as the featured game on ESPN’s College GameDay at the Petersen Events Center.Cincinnati looks for its eight straight BIG EAST road win with a visit to West Virginia, which is 9-1 at home this year (3 p.m., ESPNU). Rutgers visits No. 10/12 Georgetown in the BIG EAST Network Game of the Week (noon). St. John’s and Villanova meet at Madison Square Garden in a matchup of teams that are tied in the BIG EAST standings (1 p.m., ESPNU). No. 21/22 Marquette heads to Providence to face a Friar squad that scored a 31-point win against Louisville in its most recent home game. Connecticut visits Tennessee in the Huskies’ final nonconference game of the regular season (4 p.m., CBS).