By: JOE KAY AP Sports Writer
CINCINNATI (AP) _ Point guard Troy Caupain scored a career-high 20 points on Thursday night before leaving with his second technical foul, and Cincinnati never trailed during a 70-58 victory over sloppy Connecticut to split the season series.
Cincinnati (15-5, 6-2 American Athletic) won its third in a row overall and improved to 12-1 at home this season.
Caupain wiggled free for layups and made eight of his nine shots. He picked up his second technical for taunting with 2:24 to go and Cincinnati up by 14 points.
UConn (11-8, 4-3) won the teams’ first matchup in Connecticut on Jan. 10, with Ryan Boatright scoring 18 points in a 67-60 victory. The conference’s stingiest defense clamped down on him in the rematch and held him without a field goal until there was 12:56 left in the game.
Boatright, who leads the AAC in scoring at 16.5 points per game, finished with a flurry and wound up with 22 points on 6-of-17 shooting. UConn turned it over 17 times and shot only 33 percent from the field overall.
The Bearcats opened the game with a 7-0 run as the Huskies came out slow and sloppy, turning the ball over on four of their first five possessions. They had 13 turnovers in the first half alone. Boatright missed all six of his field goal tries and managed only a pair of free throws in the half, which ended with Cincinnati ahead 30-22.
The Huskies opened the second half with another turnover. Gary Clark stole a pass and made a layup for a 32-22 lead, the biggest of the game to that point. A 3-pointer by Caupain pushed it to 39-26.
UConn didn’t get closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Connecticut: In the three previous games, UConn had shot better from beyond arc than from inside it. The Huskies had trouble making a shot from anywhere on Thursday and went 8 of 26 from beyond the arc.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats are 8-3 since coach Mick Cronin was sidelined by a problem with a blood vessel in the back of his head, which will prevent him from coaching games or practice this season.
Connecticut plays at Houston on Sunday, then returns home against East Carolina on Wednesday.
Cincinnati is on the road for its next two games, at East Carolina on Sunday and at Southern Methodist on Thursday.
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