Derry City eventually broke down UCD's stubborn resistance to come from behind and earn a 2-1 win at the Brandywell.
The victory takes the Candystripes one point clear at the top of the Premier Division table, although second-placed Shamrock Rovers have a match in hand.
Graham Rusk tucked the ball beyond goalkeeper Ger Doherty to give UCD a deserved lead in the 18th minute.
Kevin Deery drilled home the equaliser on 71 minutes and Davy McDaid knocked in the winner six minutes from time.
Rusk had given the visitors the lead after finding space between two defenders.
Darren Meenan was inches wide with a curling effort, then Derry created a number of chances before the interval.
Patrick McEleney saw his low shot saved by Ger Barron and Stewart Greacen headed against the bar.
Daniel Lafferty shot wide and Ruaidhri Higgins headed inches wide.
After half-time Derry laid siege on the UCD goal as they went in the search of an equaliser.
McEleney brought another fine save from Barron, who also pushed Deery's low shot wide.
Barron then pushed Stephen McLaughlin's effort onto a post and Eamon Zayed blazed over the bar.
Barry Molloy crossed but the ball was hooked away as McLaughlin tried to get the vital touch at the near post.
McEleney was off-target with another attempt before Deery eventually levelled.
Substitute McDaid guided the ball past the goalkeeper from Molloy's cross to give the home side three points.
Nine-man Shamrock Rovers lost 2-1 to Sligo Rovers to allow Derry to leapfrog Michael O'Neill's team in the league standings.
The Candystripes entertain Drogheda on Monday night.