PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Rudy Gay kept No. 19 Connecticut rolling while Chevy Troutman could not stop No. 17 Pittsburgh from sliding.
Gay scored 17 points and Denham Brown added 16 as the Huskies defeated the Panthers, 73-64, for their seventh straight Big East Conference victory.
Troutman finished with 22 for Pittsburgh, but had 15 in the first half when the Panthers forged a 37-31 lead. He was 6-of-8 from the field in the opening 20 minutes, taking advantage of UConn center Josh Boone's absence. Boone played just six minutes in the first half after picking up two early fouls.
"I'm really proud of my kids. I thought we hung in there, as both teams did," Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said. "Pittsburgh's a helluva team. We've played Carolina, Oklahoma, Syracuse, Boston College - we've played some pretty good basketball teams - and Pittsburgh's as good as any of those teams, in my opinion."
Boone scored all seven of his points in the second half when the Huskies outscored the Panthers, 42-27, to hand Pitt its third straight loss.
Marcus Williams gave UConn the lead for good, 64-63, with layup that sparked a game-ending 9-1 run. Gay scored three points in the spurt and Williams capped the scoring with a pair of free throws with 36 seconds left.
"We have a terrific frontcourt, and when Williams played better in the second half we became the team that really achieved," Calhoun said. "The big thing was that we executed. In the first half we didn't execute at all."
Connecticut (19-6, 11-3 Big East) has not lost a conference game since January 30 when it fell, 78-74, at Notre Dame. Pitt (18-7, 8-6) has two wins over Syracuse but a pair of losses to West Virginia in what has become a rollercoaster season.
"You're catching us at a time when we're getting a little bit better," Calhoun said. "We're getting better and finding more answers."
Carl Krauser scored 21 points for Pitt but was 2-of-11 from the arc. Pitt's troubles were not only from long range as it shot only 14-of-29 (48 percent) from the free throw line and had several key misses down the stretch.
"It's a disappointing loss for us for a couple of reasons," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. "It's disappointing because I believed we were in position to finish this game off and win the game. We just didn't do those things we needed to do."
Pitt missed 10 of its final 15 free throws and shot 29 percent (9-for-31) in the second half after hitting 50 percent (14-for-28) in the opening 20 minutes.
"We need some other guys scoring," Dixon said. "We had some guys take some good shots, but most just came up short. I thought we had some good looks, but we didn't shoot the ball well."
Gay scored 10 of his points in the second half for UConn, which started the final 20 minutes with a 10-2 run to take the lead just over four minutes in.
Charlie Villanueva added 14 points and 13 boards for the Huskies, who gave Calhoun his 699th career victory.