LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Ticker) -- A rough four-minute stretch was too much for Cincinnati to overcome.
Taquan Dean scored 21 points as No. 6 Louisville knocked the fifth-ranked Bearcats from the unbeaten ranks with a 93-66 Conference USA rout that matched Bob Huggins' worst loss with the Bearcats.
Both teams entered on 13-game winning streaks in one of the top early showdowns in college basketball. Louisville (14-1, 5-0 C-USA) built a 44-40 halftime lead on the strength of 11 points from Dean.
Cincinnati (13-1, 4-1) picked up seven fouls in the first four minutes after halftime, allowing Louisville to shoot free throws the rest of the way. It also curtailed the aggressiveness in the Bearcats' trademark pressure defense.
"I've never got beat like that," said Huggins, who was whistled for an early technical. "We didn't play. I took three timeouts just to get guys in the right spots. That's not their fault, it's my fault. People get complacent, it's human nature. You can tell them, but they don't listen."
The defeat matched the worst in Huggins' career at Cincinnati - a 90-63 loss to North Carolina in 1993.
"We beat a great basketball team tonight," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "The great respect we had led to this play. You have to have great spacing against their press. They had an off night, like us last year (a 101-80 setback at Cincinnati)."
The Cardinals used a 14-2 tear and opened a 70-54 lead with 8:22 to go on a 3-pointer by Dean. Louisville was 6-of-8 from the line in that span and finished 29-of-42.
Cincinnati's loss left Stanford and St. Joseph's as the nation's only unbeaten teams.
Francisco Garcia scored 19 points and Luke Whitehead added 18 for Louisville, which committed just 13 turnovers against Cincinnati's press. The backcourt combo of Dean and Garcia had no turnovers.
"There are little point guard things he's learning every day," Pitino said of Dean. "He's mentally tough and he's become a terrific point guard, and I'm very proud of him."
Jason Maxiell scored 10 of his 14 points in the first half to lead Cincinnati. Reserve Tony Bobbitt, the Bearcats' leading scorer, netted only eight points before fouling out.
"Things have been too easy for us," said Huggins, whose team had an average victory margin of more than 25 points through its first 13 games. "We got a little giddy, and I've tried to explain to them that our half-court offense hasn't been that good. They thought I was just being my grumpy self. This is embarrassing and I'm embarrassed."