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“We can’t shoot 30-footers, and hopefully he keeps learning,” Ollie said. “You have to get to the rim and put it on the ref in that situation. You have to make a pass.”

Connecticut led for all but 40 seconds in the first half with its guards darting through Cincinnati’s defense for layups and assists.

Ryan Boatright scored six consecutive points as UConn pulled ahead 21-15. He fell hard on his left shoulder while going for the ball and left the game grimacing. He returned a few minutes later and scored only three points the rest of the game.

Napier made a driving bank shot high off the backboard, then drove under the basket and passed outside to Giffey for a wide-open 3-pointer that built UConn’s lead to 26-18. Another 3 by Giffey gave the Huskies a 10-point lead.

The Huskies made four of their first six shots in the second half to hold the lead. Omar Calhoun’s baseline jumper put the Huskies ahead 42-34.

Jackson then led the Bearcats on the 13-4 run. He emphatically blocked a shot to set up a fast break that culminated in Kilpatrick’s dunk. Jackson picked up a loose ball on the Bearcats’ next possession and dunked, then followed with a driving bank shot for a 47-46 lead with 7:34 left.

Kilpatrick hit another 3 that started a six-point spurt and gave Cincinnati its biggest lead, 53-49. The Bearcats stayed ahead the rest of the way.

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