UConn fell short Saturday night, falling to Cincinnati 82-68.
Kyle Washington and Gary Clark took the court thinking it was up to them to dominate. Shot by shot, they took over the game.
Washington scored a career-high 27 points, and Clark had his fifth double-double of the season as No. 14 Cincinnati used its front-line advantage and pulled away a victory over Connecticut on Saturday, its 14th straight win.
The Bearcats (21-2, 10-0 American Athletic) never trailed while winning their 22nd in a row on their home court. They extended their longest overall winning streak in three years.
"Me and Gary, when we were doing treatments before the game, we said we needed to be ready to play," Washington said.
Washington had 13 of Cincinnati's first 17 points as the Bearcats got the early advantage, making a 3-pointer, a mid-range jumper and three left-handed shots from near the basket. He went 11 of 18 from the field overall, including 3 of 5 from beyond the arc.
The points were a bonus. Washington has been working on his defense, which is one of the biggest holes in his game.
"I told Gary when we were getting ready for the game: Forget offense," Washington said. "I don't want to think offense. For us to get better — for me to get better — I've got to become a better defensive player."
Washington made a 3-pointer and Clark had unguarded back-to-back 3s as Cincinnati pulled away at the start of the second half, leading by as many as 26 points.
Clark had 20 points, 11 rebounds and three assists, including a pair of 3s.
"Kyle and Gary made a lot of shots," Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said. "We made so many shots — that's what broke their spirit."
Rodney Purvis scored 20 points for UConn (10-12, 5-5) , which had won its last three games.
"They came out in that second half and did pretty much whatever they wanted to," coach Kevin Ollie said. "We've got to play a little bit harder. Actually, we've got to play a lot harder, and a lot tougher.
"The toughness just wasn't there today."
Connecticut: The Huskies' three-game winning streak was their longest of the season. They had pulled it off despite being limited to six scholarship players because of injuries.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats' 22-game winning streak at home is their third-longest since their arena opened in 1989. They won 41 home games in a row from 1997-2000 and 25 straight from 1992-94.
A 57-55 come-from-behind win at Tulsa and the comfortable win over UConn should allow the Bearcats to at least hold their ground. Their No. 14 ranking is their highest of the season.
Troy Caupain's six assists pushed him over 100 for the season. He's only the third in school history to have three seasons with 100 assists, joining Cashmere Wright (2011-13) and Deonta Vaughn (2007-10). Caupain scored only seven points. He had 37 points during UConn's 104-97, four-overtime victory over the Bearcats in the quarterfinals of AAC Tournament last season.
FINAL FOUR FLASHBACK
The Bearcats honored their Final Four team from 1992 and had their second capacity crowd of the season, the other one against crosstown rival Xavier. They wore throwback uniforms and introduced members of the '92 team at halftime. Former coach Bob Huggins — now at West Virginia — sent greetings by video and concluded, "That was one of the greatest years of my life. Thank you all so much for letting me be part of it."
The Huskies have a home rematch against South Florida on Wednesday. They beat the Bulls 81-69 on Jan. 25 for the second of their three straight wins.
The Bearcats host Central Florida on Wednesday. They have won all seven games in their series.