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    College basketball: No. 22 UConn falls in final minutes

    Sean Kilpatrick (26 points) helped Cincinnati win its 18th straight at home.
    Sean Kilpatrick (26 points) helped Cincinnati win its 18th straight at home.

    After leading most of the game, No. 22 Connecticut had a chance to finish off a big upset. The Huskies got a little too anxious.

    They couldn’t figure out how to stop Sean Kilpatrick, either.

    Kilpatrick had 26 points and 12 rebounds on Thursday night as No. 7 Cincinnati rallied for a 63-58 win, its 15th in a row. His two free throws in the closing seconds sent the Huskies (17-5, 5-4 American Athletic) to their second loss in eight games, both against ranked teams.


    ‘‘They did whatever they wanted to do in the second half,’’ coach Kevin Ollie said.

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    The Bearcats (22-2, 11-0) trailed for most of the game, their first with a No. 7 ranking that is their highest in 10 years.

    Cincinnati has now won 18 straight at home, including all 16 this season. The Bearcats are off to their best start in 12 years.

    ‘‘That’s what we've been hoping for,’’ Cincinnati forward Titus Rubles said. ‘‘It’s good to see the city excited for Cincinnati basketball again. We definitely enjoyed the crowd today. It was a big factor in helping us with our energy.’’

    Justin Jackson had 6 of his 15 points and blocked a shot during a 13-4 run that rallied Cincinnati midway through the second half. Jermaine Sanders’s two free throws with 18.5 seconds left gave Cincinnati a 61-58 lead.


    UConn’s Niels Giffey missed a 3-point shot, and Kilpatrick got the rebound, was fouled, and made both free throws.

    ‘‘The mark of great players is that they rise to the occasion,’’ Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said. ‘‘He has the ability to rise to the occasion.’’

    Shabazz Napier scored 16 points for the Huskies, who led for all but 40 seconds in the first half.

    Arizona 67, Oregon 65 — Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 14 points and 10 boards starting in place of an injured Brandon Ashley, and the No. 2 Wildcats escaped the visiting Ducks (15-7, 3-7 Pac-12).

     Nick Johnson added 18 points for Arizona (22-1, 9-1), which picked up a hard-fought victory in its first game after having its 21-game win streak snapped.


    Michigan State 82, Penn State 67 — Adreian Payne had 12 points in his return from a foot injury, and the ninth-ranked Spartans (20-3, 9-1 Big Ten) eased past the visiting Nittany Lions (12-11, 3-7).

    Payne hadn’t played since Jan. 7 because of a sprained foot. Although he didn’t start Thursday, he did play 18 minutes, going 5 of 9 from the field.

    VCU 68, URI 52 — Rhode Island had trouble with Virginia Commonwealth’s press defense, committing 20 turnovers that led to 22 points in a loss in Richmond, Va.

    Gilvydas Biruta had 9 points and 14 rebounds to lead Rhode Island (11-12, 2-6 Atlantic 10).

    Juvonte Reddic had 14 points and 11 boards for Virginia Commonwealth (19-4, 7-1), which won its 17th straight at home.

    Bryant 79, Central Conn. 68 — Alex Francis had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Dyami Starks added 16 points, and the Bulldogs (15-9, 7-2 Northeast Conference) edged the Blue Devils in New Britain, Conn.

    Brandon Peel led Central Connecticut (6-16, 2-7) with 15 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 blocks.

    Mount St. Mary’s 73, Sacred Heart 60 — Luis Montes had a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds, but the host Pioneers (4-20, 1-8 Northeast Conference) shot just 16.7 percent (3 of 18) from 3-point land in a loss to the Mountaineers.

     Mount St. Mary’s (10-12, 6-3) outscored Sacred Heart, 43-30, in the second half.


    BC 69, Virginia 65 — Kelly Hughes tied a career high with 23 points as the Eagles snapped a five-game losing streak with a comeback win over the Cavaliers (12-11, 5-5 ACC) at Conte Forum.

    BC trailed, 53-38, with 11:05 left but used a 19-2 run over the next seven minutes to take its first lead since 6-5.

    Nicole Boudreau added 13 points for the Eagles (12-12, 3-7), who attempted 20 free throws (making 13) in the second half after not getting to the line in the first half.

    UNH 46, UMBC 35 — The host Wildcats used a 23-7 run over the first 14 minutes of the second half to defeat the Retrievers (2-20, 1-9 America East).

    Reserve Kaylee Kilpatrick had 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists for New Hampshire (14-8), which has won 10 of its last 11 games. The Wildcats’ 8-1 mark in America East play marks the best nine-game conference run in program history.

    Bentley 89, Assumption 70 — Lauren Battista (21 points) led five players in double figures as the Falcons, ranked No. 1 in the Division 2 USA Today/WBCA poll, raced past the Greyhounds (12-8, 8-7 Northeast-10) in Worcester.

    Christiana Bakolas added 10 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists for undefeated Bentley (21-0, 16-0).

    Notre Dame 81, Florida State 60 — Natalie Achonwa scored 24 points and Jewell Loyd added 18 to lead the No. 2 Fighting Irish (22-0, 9-0 ACC) to a rout of the Seminoles (15-7, 3-6) in Tallahassee.

    Duke 78, Clemson 51 — Tricia Liston had 15 points and 10 rebounds as the fifth-ranked Blue Devils (22-2, 9-1) bounced back from their first Atlantic Coast Conference defeat with their 18th straight win over the host Tigers (11-13, 3-7).

    South Carolina 71, Mississippi State 64 — Aleighsa Welch had 18 points and 11 rebounds, Elem Ibiam blocked seven shots, and the No. 6 Gamecocks (21-2, 9-1 SEC) held off the host Bulldogs (16-8, 3-7).

    Tennessee 77, Mississippi 65 — Meighan Simmons poured in 20 points, Isabelle Harrison had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and the No. 8 Lady Volunteers (19-4, 8-2 SEC) topped the host Rebels (10-14, 1-9).

    Iowa 73, Penn State 70 — Samantha Logic (14 points, 10 boards, 10 assists) had the Big Ten’s first triple-double of the season, leading the visiting Hawkeyes (18-6, 6-4) past the No. 9 Nittany Lions (17-5, 8-2).

    Maryland 94, Pittsburgh 46 — Alyssa Thomas had 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists as the 10th-ranked Terrapins (18-4, 6-3 ACC) cranked up the defense in a thrashing of the Panthers (10-13, 2-7) in College Park, Md.