For 33 minutes Cincinnati looked like it might pull off its biggest upset of the season.
The Bearcats trailed No. 17 Georgetown by three with 7:05 to play, before slumping to four turnovers and 1-7 shooting down the stretch as the Hoyas went on a 17-3 run.
Georgetown (19-5, 7-3 Big East) defeated UC 55-38 Saturday at McDonough Arena in a contest that was much tighter than the final score indicated.
"Absolutely it was a lot closer," head coach Jamelle Elliott said.
Cincinnati trailed the Hoyas by 11 with less than three minutes to play in the first half when it closed the period on a 6-0 streak.
"That's our best half of basketball in a long time," assistant coach Mark Ehlen said.
Senior Shelly Bellman drilled a 3-pointer to open the second half to trim the deficient to 27-25.
The Bearcats then had four subsequent possessions to either knot the score or take their first lead of the contest, but were unable to convert while giving the ball away three times.
"The reason why they are a top-20 team is their defense," Elliott said. "They live and die by their defense. They want to get turnovers. They accomplished their job defensively."
Georgetown forced 20 miscues and its defense down the stretch put Cincinnati away. The Hoyas came into the game No. 5 in the Big East in scoring defense at 55 points per game.
Freshman substitute Tiffany Turner led the Bearcats with a career-high 12 points.
"Tiffany Turner came and gave us a lot of really, really good minutes in the post," Elliott said. "We just weren't able to put up enough points to hang with this really good Georgetown team."
Georgetown guard Rubylee Wright netted a game-high 14 points and on 4-8 shooting from behind the arc while tallying eight assists.
The Bearcats were held under 40 points for the second time this season. Senior leading scoring Shareese Ulis and guard Bjonee Reaves, fresh off a 22-point effort, combined for 4-18 shooting.
"That's kind of been the story of our season," Elliott said. "We got wide-open looks today. We're doing something right offensively. Sometimes you can't control whether or not your shots are falling."
Cincinnati refused to go away mounting one final 7-0 run to get within three before the Hoyas stretched their lead.
Both teams shot a shade above 33 percent, but the Hoyas had 25 more field goal attempts while gaining an 18-8 advantage on the offensive glass.
"It came down to offensive rebounds," Elliott said. "We gave up way too many."
The Hoyas earned their third-straight win in the season series between the two squads.
The Bearcats will look to earn their second league win Saturday at 2 p.m. in Fifth Third Arena against Seton Hall.
"We got a week off now we need to fine tune some things in practice over the next week," Elliott said.