By PAT EATON-ROBB  AP Sports Writer


 HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Gary Clark’s 3-point play with 12 seconds left lifted Cincinnati to a 58-57 win over Connecticut on Thursday night.

Clark and Farad Cobb scored 13 points apiece for the Bearcats (16-6, 6-3 American Athletic), who have won three straight and five of their last six.

Sterling Gibbs had 14 points to lead UConn (14-6, 4-3), which lost for the first time in four games.

Gibbs missed a jumper on UConn’s final possession. Shonn Miller grabbed the offensive rebound, but could not put in a follow-up attempt and Jalen Adams’ desperation shot at the buzzer hit the rim and bounced away.

Cincinnati scored just four points over the final seven minutes, but Clark was able to draw a foul on Miller in the lane, and his jumper and free throw provided the winning margin.

The Bearcats trailed by five at halftime, but held the Huskies to just 21 second-half points. UConn shot 38.3 percent from the floor, just 28 percent after intermission.

The Bearcats came in holding opponents to just over 39 percent shooting, while UConn’s opponents were shooting 37 percent.

It was that type of defensive struggle for both teams down the stretch.

Cincinnati trailed by seven points early in the second half before going on a 9-0 run. They took a 45-43 lead when Clark followed his own miss.

They had a 53-50 lead with 7:16 left in the game on a 3-pointer by Evans.

But the Bearcats did not score again until an Evan’s layup cut UConn’s lead to 57-55 with a minute left.

Octavius Ellis chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds for Cincinnati.

Rodney Purvis had 12 points, while Miller and Adams had 11 apiece for UConn.

Phil Nolan started at center for UConn, but had two fouls in the first two minutes before the Huskies had a point.  His replacement, Kentan Facey, picked up two more in the next two minutes.

The Bearcats held the Huskies scoreless for almost four minutes and opened the game on an 8-2 run.

Three 3-pointers by Gibbs on three consecutive trips down the floor, and another by Purvis, highlighted a 16-4 run by UConn that helped the Huskies to a 36-31 halftime lead.

UConn came into the game 13-0 this season when leading at the half.

But the Huskies were just 1 of 8 from 3-point range in the second half after hitting five of their eight attempts in the first.

Cincinnati came in ranked No. 69 in the latest RPI rankings and UConn was No. 58.  Both teams have limited chances to improve that ranking the rest of the season, with No. 13 SMU as the only ranked team left on either schedule. UConn has two games left with the Mustangs.  Cincinnati plays them once more, in their last regular-season game.

     TIP INS:

 Cincinnati: The Bearcats had lost four in a row against UConn in Connecticut. Their last win came on Jan. 18, 2012, 70-67, at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs. … Cincinnati’s Shaq Thomas left the floor 3-minutes into the second half, favoring his right ankle after going to the floor at midcourt.

UConn:  Starting UConn center Amida Brimah missed his 11th straight game. Coach Kevin Ollie said Brimah’s surgically repaired broken finger is healing and he should be back in about a week. Brimah was averaging 7.8 points and 3 blocks.

     UP NEXT

   Cincinnati: The Bearcats return home to face USF on Thursday.
     UConn: The Huskies travel to Florida to play UCF on Sunday.


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