It was the first time this season that this starting five has been used. It also marks the first career start for Rubles.
With UC holding an early 10-9 lead with 13:23 left in the half, the Bearcats used a 13-2 run over 6:10 to push the margin to nine, 20-11, with 7:13 left. The run was keyed by Kilpatrick and Parker combining for three triples. Notre Dame used a 16-6 run over the following 3:24 to lead 27-26 with 6:14 remaining in the opening 20 minutes.
During a 4:14 span in the first half from 8:04 to 3:50, the two teams combined to hit nine straight three pointers with Notre Dame tallying five and UC four.
On the evening, the squads combined to go 18-of-37 (.486) from behind the arc with both teams knocking down nine triples apiece.
With UC down 11, 40-29, just over two minutes into the second half, the Bearcats went on a 12-2 run over the next 2:32 to move within one at 42-41 with 15:08 remaining.
UC knotted things up at 47 apiece with 12:03 left and again at 49-49 with 9:54 left. From there, Notre Dame went on a 10-0 run over three minutes to lead 59-49 with 5:43 on the clock. UC pulled within four, 64-60, with 23 seconds remaining, but would get no closer, falling 66-60.
UC has dropped three consecutive home games at Fifth Third Arena for the first time since the 2005-06 season. That year, UC lost to Louisville (Jan 31/69-63), St. John's (Feb. 4/73-64) and Notre Dame (Feb. 18/76-64).
UC's three home losses have come by a combined eight points.
After shooting under 32 percent, its two lowest marks of the year, in its past two home games, UC fired at a 46.9 percent clip (23-of-49) against the Irish.
The Bearcats outscored Notre Dame in points off turnovers (13-12) and bench points (22-4). Second-chance points (5-5), points in the paint (24-24) and fast-break points (2-2) were all tied.
Junior Sean Kilpatrick scored 15 points, including three triples. He has scored in double figures in 15 of UC’s 16 contests this season. He passed Jim Holstein (1950-52) for 30th place on the UC career scoring chart. Kilpatrick has 1,150 points and is three points from overtaking Tom Thacker (1961-63) who sits 29th with 1,152 points.
Senior Cashmere Wright dished out eight assists, giving him 432 for his career. He moved into sole possession of fourth place, passing Oscar Robertson (1957-60) who tallied 425 career steals. He trails Steve Logan (1998-2002) in third place, who had 456 assists. Wright added five points to move his career total to 1,127, surpassing George Wilson (1962-64) who had 1,124 points. Wright needs 20 points to pass passed Jim Holstein (1950-52) who scored 1,156 points for 30th place on the UC career scoring chart.
Wright had one steals and remains in third place on UC's career chart with 179 career steals. He trails Darnell Burton (1993-97) who is second with 184 steals.
Cheikh Mbodj tallied four blocks, tying his season high for the sixth time.
Titus Rubles tied a season and career best with five assists. He also added seven rebounds.
Notre Dame had five players in double figures, led by Jerian Grant, who had a game-high 19 points. Scott Martin (12), Jack Cooley (11) and Pat Connaughton (10) also finished in double digits with Cooley’s game-high eight rebounds leading all players.
The Bearcats will be back in action on Sat., Jan. 12 when they travel to Rutgers to take on the Scarlet Knights at 8 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on the BIG EAST Network and will be available locally on FOX Sports Ohio. It can also be heard on 700 WLW.