No. 13/15 Men's Basketball Gets 50-45 Win Over USF
February 3, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
CINCINNATI - Sean Kilpatrick (Yonkers, N.Y./Notre Dame Prep) was hot when it counted, scoring the last eight points for the No. 13/15 University of Cincinnati men's basketball team who won its 14th straight game Sunday, knocking off USF 50-45 in front of 10,367 inside Fifth Third Arena.
Kilpatrick, playing with the flu, went 5-of-16 from the field, but the senior locked it down during crunch time, getting to the lane and hitting 6-of-6 from the charity stripe as Cincinnati (21-2, 10-0 American Athletic Conference) tied the Fifth Third Arena record with 15-straight wins to start the season.
UC has won 14 consecutive overall, tying for the fifth-longest active streak in the nation. The Bearcats have won 17 in-a-row on the home court, dating back to the 2012-13 season.
USF (11-11, 2-7 American) made it interesting, scoring 28 of its points in the paint and getting 20 points off the bench, mostly from Chris Perry's team-high 13 points.
The Bulls took advantage of a pair of cold offensive stretches for the Bearcats in the second half, gaining their first lead at 27-26 with 14:17 remaining and 39-36 with 7:18 left. USF had 9-2 and 8-0 runs, respectively, while UC missed four of its first five shots and later had a span of six straight misses. The Bearcats also turned it over six times in the opening five minutes of the second half after only one giveaway in the first half.
Titus Rubles (Dallas, Texas/Blinn College) brought the Bearcats back the first time, with a 5-0 run of his own that gave UC a 34-29 lead with 12:10 left. Rubles, scoreless in the first half, had a pair of free throws and then sank a layup, as fouled and hit the ensuing bonus.
Later, a Justin Jackson (Cocoa Beach, Fla./Arlington Country Day) bank shot started an 8-0 UC run that gave the Bearcats a 46-41 lead they would not relinquish over the final 3:01.
The offensive woes hit USF late as the Bulls went almost four-and-a-half minutes without a field goal, and made one of their last seven shots over the final six minutes, allowing UC to battle back into the game.
Kilpatrick's game-high 18 moved him into third place all-time on the UC career scoring chart with 1,891 points. He trails only Oscar Robertson (2,973) and Steve Logan (1,985) and needs 109 points to become only the second player in school history to break the 2,000-point plateau.
Jackson finished with 15 points, six rebounds, three blocks and two steals, hitting six of his eight field-goal attempts. Ge'Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky./South Kent Prep) had eight points, including a pair of triples while Rubles finished with five points, six rebounds and two steals and Jermaine Sanders (Far Rockaway, N.Y./Rice) came off the bench to pull down seven boards.
UC closed the first half on an 11-4 run, giving the Bearcats a 24-18 advantage at the break. USF had a scoring drought of almost five minutes and only made two field goals in the final nine minutes of the half.
USF was on the board first but UC hit five of its first 10 from the field, rattling off an 11-4 run early. The Bulls had a 12-4 run over six-plus minutes to take a 14-13 lead with 9:04 remaining.
A jumper from Sanders and a layup from Kilpatrick helped UC retake the lead at 17-14 with 7:19 left, leading to the closing run.
UC welcomes UConn in Thursday, the first of two meetings in the next month for the Bearcats and Huskies. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. with ESPN and 700 WLW AM providing live coverage. Tickets are available by visiting GoBearcats.com/tickets or calling 1-877-CATS-TIX. The game is UC's annual Black Out. Fans are encouraged to wear black to the game.