Freshman Lance Stephenson was fouled with less than a second left and made both free throws last night, rallying Cincinnati to a breakthrough 71-69 victory over 10th-ranked and visiting Connecticut in a wild Big East opener for both teams.

Cincinnati (9-3) had lost all five previous games against UConn.

The Bearcats led by 11 points before the Huskies made a late run, tying the game on Kemba Walker's three-pointer with 9.4 seconds to go.

Stephenson dribbled into the lane and was fouled by Gavin Edwards as the buzzer sounded. After a review, the officials put seventh-tenths of a second on the clock and Stephenson went to the line and made both shots, finishing with 21 points.

Jerome Dyson scored 24 points and Stanley Robinson added 22 as UConn (9-3) lost its scoring balance during its first true road game of the season.

North Carolina 87, Albany 70 - Ed Davis had 18 points to help ninth-ranked North Carolina (11-3) rout Albany (4-10) in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Deon Thompson added 15 points for the Tar Heels, who had an easy time in their next-to-last game before opening Atlantic Coast Conference play.

North Carolina built a double-digit lead midway through the first half and coasted the rest of the way for its third straight win since losing to second-ranked Texas.

Michigan State 87, Texas-Arlington 68 - Durrell Summers and Draymond Green combined for 39 points to lead 11th-ranked Michigan State (10-3) past Texas-Arlington (5-5) in East Lansing, Mich.

Summers had 20 points, 13 of them in the first half, for the Spartans, while Green added 19 in a balanced attack.

But Michigan State coach Tom Izzo had to be happiest with the reigning Big Ten player of the year, Kalin Lucas, who responded to a benching with 16 points.

Lucas was held out of practice Tuesday to enable him to think about his leadership role.

Virginia 72, Alabama-Birmingham 63 - Sylven Landesberg scored 19 points and had two free throws and two key assists in the final 2 minutes, 36 seconds as Virginia (7-4) ended the 10-game winning streak of 24th-ranked UAB (11-2), in Charlottesville, Va.

The Blazers, who moved into the top 25 this week for the first time since the end of the 2006-07 season, got a career high of 27 points and 11 rebounds from Elijah Millsap.

Illinois 89, Northwestern 83 - Mike Tisdale had a career high of 31 points, and Illinois (9-4) spoiled 25th-ranked Northwestern's return to the rankings after 40 years with an overtime victory in the Big Ten opener for both teams, in Champaign, Ill.

Fellow big man Mike Davis had 20 points and 17 rebounds for the Illini, who beat Northwestern (10-2) for the 11th straight time.

Elsewhere: Dan Mavraides scored 21 points and Kareem Maddox converted a three-point play with five seconds left to lead Princeton to a 45-42 victory over visiting Wagner. . . . Edgar Sosa scored 16 points and dished out five assists to propel Louisville to a 73-52 win over South Florida in the Big East opener for both teams, in Louisville, Ky. . . . William and Mary claimed another Atlantic Coast Conference victim by defeating Maryland, 83-77, to extend its winning streak to nine games.

Jonathan Peoples scored a career high of 23 points and Tim Abromaitis added 22 to lead Notre Dame to a 93-78 victory over Providence in South Bend, Ind. . . . J.P. Kuhlman hit two free throws with four seconds left to lift Davidson to a 63-61 victory over Massachusetts in Davidson, N.C. . . . Marquis Hall scored 20 points and C.J. McCollum scored seven of his 16 points in overtime to lead Lehigh past Delaware State, 73-66, in Dover, Del.