ROSEMONT, Illinois (Ticker) -- Drake Diener and DePaul put a crimp in Cincinnati's conference title hopes while bolstering their own.
Diener and Delonte Holland each scored 17 points as DePaul created a four-way tie for second place in Conference USA with a 68-65 victory over the 12th-ranked Bearcats.
DePaul (18-8, 11-4 C-USA) pulled into a tie for second with Cincinnati, Alabama-Birmingham and Charlotte, one game behind Memphis. The Bearcats (20-6, 11-4) host Memphis on Saturday.
The win also avenged a 90-65 loss at Cincinnati on January 10.
"Yeah, we have had quite a turnaround, we are just a lot better team," Diener said. "We are a lot more consistent and that definitely showed tonight."
The Blue Demons, who bolstered their hopes for an NCAA Tournament at-large berth, would earn the top seed in the Conference USA tournament in the event of a five-way tie.
"We are on a pretty good ride and I am not going to be premature or I am not going to jinx it before it is time to get off," DePaul coach Dave Leitao said.
Diener drained a 3-pointer with 12:26 remaining to give DePaul the lead for good at 44-42. Holland added a 3-pointer and Diener used a nifty ball fake and moved inside the arc for a jumper and a seven-point lead with 10:39 left.
The Blue Demons, who have won 11 of 13 games, led by as many as nine points in the final four minutes.
"We got beat by a good team," Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins said. "We didn't play particularly well."
Holland made 5-of-9 shots to go with eight rebounds to make up for a rough outing from fellow senior Andre Brown in DePaul's final home game. Quemont Greer chipped in with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
"It is a good thing for the seniors as well as well for the young guys," Brown said. "I think everybody stepped up."
Cincinnati had a three-game winning streak snapped and Field Williams was the only starter who reached double figures with 14 points. Reserves Eric Hicks and Armein Kirkland each netted 10.
Tony Bobbitt, a Cincinnati reserve who averages 13.5 points, had a sub-par performance. Bobbitt twice fouled 3-point shooters and finished with more fouls (four) than points (three).
"We should've left him home, shouldn't we?" Huggins asked. "He fouls a 3-point shooter two times, goes 1-of-8. Those killed us."