HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Shabazz Napier put Connecticut on his back again, helping the Huskies to their fourth overtime win this season.
Napier scored 11 of his 27 points in extra time Thursday as UConn (18-7, 8-5 Big East) beat Cincinnati 73-66.
DeAndre Daniels added 17 points and tied a career high with four blocked shots for the Huskies (18-7, 8-5 Big East), who are now 4-1 in overtime games.
Napier has scored 46 points in those overtimes, hitting nine of his 14 shots, and going 8 for 12 from 3-point range.
"I try to be the best leader for this team, and guys look for me to make shots," he said. "All I've got to do is see the ball go in the hoop one time, and I feel like I'm going to make the next one."
The teams were tied a 55 going into overtime before Napier hit two 3-pointers as part of a 6-2 UConn run. A layup by Kilpatrick made it 63-60, before Napier buried a third with a minute left.
Jermaine Sanders' layup cut the lead to four with 43 seconds left and the Bearcats began to foul. UConn made seven of eight free throws down the stretch.
Ryan Boatright and Daniels each hit a pair and Omar Calhoun made one of two, before Napier sealed it with a pair.
"We've got a lot of great players in our league, but he's right there," said UConn coach Kevin Ollie. "If people aren't considering (Napier) for Big East player of the year, I don't know what they are doing."
Sean Kilpatrick had 13 of his 18 points after halftime and JaQuon Parker added 14 for Cincinnati (19-8, 7-7), which lost for the fourth time in five games.
Titus Rubles and Justin Jackson each fouled out in overtime for Cincinnati.
A 10-2 run, sparked by a 3-pointer by Kilpatrick, gave the Bearcats a 53-47 lead with just over 4 minutes to play in regulation.
But the Huskies scored the next six. A free throw by Napier tied the game at 53 with 1:30 left. Rubles hit a put-back to give the Bearcats back the lead, and Napier tied it again on an off-balance driving layup with 40 seconds left.
Wright turned the ball over in the backcourt setting up the final shot, but Napier missed a contested layup, sending the game into overtime tied at 55.
"We've got to learn how to play with the lead down the stretch, especially with veteran guys who are capable of beating their man," said Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin. "All of our losses are the same. It's Groundhog Day."
UConn was 10 of 19 from 3-point range, and Napier hit six of his nine shots from behind the arc.
The Huskies made six 3-pointers in the first half, as it built a 37-34 halftime lead. Cincinnati, meanwhile found its success inside, with 34 points in the paint. The Bearcats outrebounded UConn 44-28 and had 17 offensive boards.
UConn had given up 20 offensive rebounds in each of the last two games, leading to a combined 36 second-chance points. The Bearcats had 17 on Thursday.
A Rubles foul shot cut UConn's lead to 43-41 with 17:23 left in the game and it stayed that score for the next 7 minutes, until Rubles banked in a long 2-point jump shot to tie it.
UConn missed seven straight shots and was held without a field goal for almost 9 minutes before a Tyler Olander dunk gave them a 45-43 lead. The Huskies had just three baskets in the first 13 minutes of the second half.
They scored 18 points in the second half, then matched that it OT, thanks to Napier.
"It's always good to have a scorer on the team," said Boatright. "He took good shots and got the green light and knocked them down."
The Bearcats hit five of their first eight shots and held Boatright and Napier scoreless over the first 5 minutes.
But Napier got the pair going by hitting consecutive 3-pointers to give UConn its first lead at 13-11.
He and Boatright combined for 18 first-half points, after scoring just six in the Huskies loss to Villanova on Saturday. Boatright finished with nine points on 3-of-12 shooting.
The Bearcats guards, Cashmere Wright, Kilpatrick and Parker, average just over 42 points per game, and had 42 Thursday. UConn's trio of Boatright, Napier and Omar Calhoun came in averaging 43 points and had 46.
Calhoun had injured his right wrist in Saturday's loss to Villanova and played with that hand wrapped. His first points came on a goaltending call and he took just three shots, scoring 10 points.
Cincinnati came in looking for its third consecutive 20-win season.
The teams will play again on March 2 in Cincinnati.
Follow Pat Eaton-Robb on Twitter @peatonrobb