The Orange was out-rebounded 36-30 and lost the battle of second-chance points. But the hosts dug in deep and clamped down outscoring the Bearcats 13-4 in the final minutes. It was Cincy’s third loss this season by two points or less.
With a chance to win it, Cashmere Wright missed a 3 from straight on with 2.9 seconds left, and the Orange held on to win their 35th straight game at home, still the longest active streak in Division 1 men's basketball.
Syracuse improved to 18-1, 6-0 in the Big East, and remains the only team that is unblemished in the conference. Cincy had a three-game winning streak was snapped.
Carter-Williams finished with 16 points and seven assists, while Triche had 13 points. For the third consecutive outing, Grant registered 13 points which were more than necessary.
Wright, who had sprained his right knee on Tuesday in a win over DePaul and did not play in Cincy’s overtime victory against Marquette on Saturday, struggled here as he finished with five points on two-for-12 shooting, going just one-for-eight from 3-point range.
The Bearcats were led by Sean Kilpatrick's 21 points and five made 3-pointers. Forward JaQuan Parker chimed in with 11 points and six assists.
The first half did not feature offensive fireworks as both teams struggled to score. Still, SU built a 20-13 lead thanks to a couple of Trevor Cooney scoring drives and Fair's jump shot in the paint. The highlight reel moment occurred when Carter-Williams flew high over the defense for an explosive dunk.
But the resilient Bearcats reduced SU's margin as Kilpatrick scored the last seven points, while hitting his third 3-pointer, so the Orange only had a 22-18 lead at the end of a half where neither side shot well.
The Bearcats had a strong start to the second half, scoring 10 points in a span of 4:35. Cincy displayed a patient style of offense with excellent ball movement that successfully attacked SU's 2/3 zone.