CINCINNATI -- Senior guard Tray Woodall scored 14 points, including two critical 3-pointers in the second half, to lift No. 23 Pittsburgh to a 62-52 victory over 17th-ranked Cincinnati on Saturday night at Fifth Third Arena.
Steve Adams scored 13 points and Talib Zanna added 11 for the Panthers (20-5, 8-4 Big East), who reached 20 victories for the 12th consecutive season.
Cincinnati (18-6, 6-5) shot 41.7 percent from the field in the first half but just 20 percent in the second half in dropping its second straight game.
The Bearcats did not have a field goal in the final 9:21.
Cincinnati guard Sean Kilpatrick scored 15 of his 16 points in the first half. He went 0 of 7 from the field in the second half.
In addition to Kilpatrick's struggles, starting forward Justin Jackson did not play in the second half because of a left leg injury and center Cheikh Mbodj was saddled with four fouls, leaving the Bearcats short-handed.
When Ge'Lawn Guyn converted a layup into a 3-point play, putting Cincinnati ahead 40-34 with 12:14 remaining, it appeared the Bearcats weathered the storm.
But Woodall's fourth 3-pointer put the Panthers ahead 54-48 with 3:11 remaining, and they held on for an important Big East Conference road win.
There were six ties and nine lead changes before Pitt took control.
Cincinnati won 70-61 at Pittsburgh on Dec. 31, but both teams struggled on offense in the first half Saturday.
Cincinnati, which shot just 37.5 percent in a 54-50 loss at Providence on Wednesday, began Saturday's game 3 of 14 from the field. Pitt hit just 4 of 15 to start, but both offenses heated up late in the first half.
Jermaine Sanders made the Bearcats' first 3-pointer with 8:59 left in the first half, putting them ahead 16-10.
Two 3-pointers by Woodall came in the midst of an 11-0 run that gave the Panthers a 24-21 lead.
After the sluggish start, both teams shot better than 40 percent in the first half.
Kilpatrick's second 3-pointer put Cincinnati ahead 31-24. He led all scorers with 15 points in the first half.
NOTES: Pittsburgh is one of the nation's deepest teams, with 10 players averaging at least 11 minutes per game. Three Panthers average in double figures, and six average 6.2 points or more. . . . The Panthers already have surpassed last season's totals for wins and Big East wins after an injury-riddled 2011-12 campaign. . . . Cincinnati outrebounded its opponents in 20 of its first 23 games this season. . . . Defense has been a strength for the Bearcats, who had limited the opposition to 37.6 percent shooting from the field through 23 games.