The Panthers (3-4, 1-1 Big East) never led until Stephens-Howling’s six-yard touchdown with 5:30 remaining. He finished with 100 yards on 13 carries.
LeSean McCoy rushed for 137 yards on 25 carries, and Pat Bostick was 18-for-29 for 167 yards with one touchdown and one interception as Pittsburgh stopped a a four-game losing streak and improved to 7-0 all-time against the Bearcats.
Cincinnati quarterback Ben Mauk completed 21 of 32 for 237 yards with one interception. He also scored once on 10 attempts for 94 yards.
Marcus Barnett and Butler Benton combined for six catches for 118 yards for the Bearcats (6-2, 1-2), who had won their previous two contests.
Before the win, Pittsburgh was the only Big East’s lone winless team in conference play.