The UConn men’s basketball team played its best game of the season against SMU on Thursday. Both on offense and defense, the Huskies were working on all cylinders.
After knocking off its first ranked opponent of the season and with UConn playing the way they did, it should be a big surprise that the Huskies played the way they did on Saturday.
Cincinnati lead the whole game and defeated UConn, 65-60, on Saturday evening thanks to 13 points and 11 rebounds from Gary Clark.
Clark was one of three players to score in double figures for the Bearcats. Jacob Evans scored 13 points and had four rebounds off the bench. Troy Caupain finished with 10 points and eight assists.
UConn (19-8, 9-5 the American) found themselves down by 14 points with 8:40 to play. But in large part to freshman Jalen Adams, UConn fought back. The Huskies went on an 8-0 run in the span of a minute and 29 seconds to get within six points. Adams scored 11 straight points at one point.
Cincinnati (20-8, 10-5 the American) made some clutch shots down the stretch to close UConn out, including a three from Kevin Johnson and a jumper by Evans to put the Bearcats up eight with 41 seconds left.
Rodney Purvis scored 16 points off the bench for the Huskies. After Amida Brimah’s big performance on Thursday against SMU, the 7-foot center was held to two points and six rebounds against Cincinnati. Brimah got in foul trouble, causing him to sit on the bench. He picked up his third foul just 49 seconds into the second half and immediately went to the bench.
Shonn Miller also got into foul trouble and finished with six points.
Cincinnati started by scoring the first eight points of the game, causing UConn coach Kevin Ollie to call a timeout. Miller scored UConn’s first basket four minutes and 30 seconds into the game.
UConn started 2 of 10 from the field and only had four points in the first 9:19 of the game. The Huskies went on scoreless stretch of 5 minutes and 29 seconds and Miller made a jumper to end that drought and make it 14-6.
The Huskies started to make shots, though, toward the end of the half.
Purvis scored seven straight points to cut the lead to four points with 5:25 to go in the half. Daniel Hamilton cashed in on a three to make it a 10-0 run and a one-point Cincinnati lead.
UConn tied the game, but then the Bearcats finished the half on a 9-2 run to take a 29-24 lead into half time.
UConn shot 10 of 29 and Cincinnati was 11 of 27.
The Huskies started the second half cold, too. The Huskies made just one of their first five starts and didn’t score for 4:25. Purvis made a three in the corner ended the drought and cut the Bearcats’ lead to four.
Cincinnati went up double digits with 11:10 left after Evans scored a layup.
The Huskies were in this game late. Purvis made a three with 4:01 left to cut the lead to 52-49. They would never get closer than that. Evan’s jumper over Sterling Gibbs with 41 seconds left was the dagger.
Cincinnati won the rebounding battle 40-30. The Huskies shot just 37 percent from the field and the Bearcats shot 43 percent.