LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Trailing by 17 points in the second half, No. 12 Louisville played one of its best stretches of the season to retake the lead against No. 13 Cincinnati.
But little mistakes in the game's final 5 minutes cost the Cardinals in the 69-66 loss to the Bearcats on Thursday night.
Louisville trailed 44-27 before Terry Rozier's 3-pointer off the inbounds with 15:42 remaining started a 37-17 outburst sparked by a 14-0 spurt and eight forced turnovers in less than 10 minutes.
Russ Smith lost his dribble but collected the ball and drilled a 27-footer with 5:01 left to finish the run and give Louisville a 64-61 lead, its first since scoring the opening basket. The Cardinals (17-4, 6-2 American Athletic Conference) didn't make another field goal as Cincinnati (20-2, 9-0) regrouped for the win and a clear lead in the conference.
"Give them a lot of credit because they lost total momentum in the game and good defensive teams can come back and hold on," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said of former assistant Mick Cronin's Bearcats.
Louisville has twice lost leads against ranked conference foes at home in the game's final minutes. Those failures to capitalize may cost the Cardinals, who now trail the Bearcats by 21/2; games.
No. 3 Florida 62, Mississippi St. 51
At Starkville, Miss., Casey Prather scored 16 points, Patric Young added 12 and No. 3 Florida beat Mississippi State 62-51 Thursday night for its 12th straight win.
The Gators (18-2, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) had a slow start on offense, but made up for it with suffocating defense. It was the 12th time this season Florida held an opponent to 60 points or fewer.
No. 10 Michigan 75, Purdue 66
At Ann Arbor, Mich., Caris LeVert had 14 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for his first career double-double, and Michigan beat Purdue to extend its winning streak to 10.
Nik Stauskas scored 16 points and Derrick Walton added 14 for the Big Ten leaders. The Wolverines (16-4, 8-0) shot 61 percent from the field.