Hartford, CT (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Boatright drained a 3-pointer as time expired to lift the sixth-seeded Connecticut Huskies to a thrilling 57-54 win over the third-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats in the quarterfinal round of the American Athletic Conference Tournament at the XL Center.
Boatright scored a game-high 18 points and handed out four assists for the Huskies (19-13), who will advance to play Tulsa in the semifinals on Saturday. Rodney Purvis chipped in 17 points in the victory.
Troy Caupain led Cincinnati (22-10) with 12 points. Octavius Ellis scored 11 points, Shaq Thomas had 10 and Gary Clark grabbed 11 boards while finishing just one point shy of a double-double.
The Bearcats took a narrow, 22-21 lead into halftime after they outscored the defending national champions, 14-6, in the paint in the opening stanza. UConn was limited to only 29.6 percent efficiency from the floor and allowed 11 second chance points before the break.
Cincinnati found itself trailing, 54-49, with only 36 seconds left in regulation. The Bearcats managed to even the score as Caupain drilled a triple before Thomas made an offensive rebound tip-in with 13 seconds showing on the game clock.
Despite the loss, the Bearcats outscored UConn, 32-16, in the paint. The Huskies converted Cincinnati's 11 turnovers into 14 points.