No. 7 Bearcats Fall to No. 11 Louisville in Final Seconds|
Feb. 22, 2014
CINCINNATI- Sean Kilpatrick (Yonkers, N.Y./Notre Dame Prep) had a game-high 28 points, but it was not enough as Louisville's Russ Smith sank a jumper with 2.2 seconds left to propel the No. 11/5 Cardinals to a 58-57 win over the No. 7/9 University of Cincinnati men's basketball team Saturday inside a sold-out Fifth Third Arena.
Smith's falling-down jumper came after UC freshman Troy Caupain (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) sank a pair of free throws with 11 seconds left to give UC a 57-56 lead. UC's inbounds pass after Smith's jumper was tipped and stolen and the buzzer sounded ending the game.
The Bearcats (24-4, 13-2 American Athletic Conference) saw their 19-game home winning streak snapped as Louisville (23-4, 12-2 American) earned a split in the season series between the two schools. The team's two matchups this season were decided by a combined four points and both came down to the closing seconds.
Kilpatrick, who sank a layup at the 15:16 mark in the second half to hit his 2,000th point, became the second player in UC history to eclipse the 2,000-point plateau for his career, joining all-time great Oscar Robertson. Kilpatrick has 2,018 career points, trailing only Robertson (2,973) on the all-time charts.
The second half featured a bunch of runs, four ties and six lead changes. The Bearcats had a 6-0 run early to lead 30-27 with 14:50, it's first lead since the 12:30 mark of the opening half.
It was the Cardinals turn to run, moving to a 17-5 advantage over 4:22 to lead 44-35 with 8:45 left. During that span, UC was 2-of-6 from the field with four turnovers.
UC turned up the defensive pressure, found the offense and went on a 13-1 run of its own over the next 3:40, leading 55-52 with 1:28 left. Kilpatrick and Justin Jackson (Cocoa Beach, Fla./Arlington Country Day) had all the Bearcats' points during the run while UofL went 5:47 without a field goal, turning it over four times.
UofL's Montrezl Harrell scored a dunk and a layup on ensuing possessions, giving the Cardinals a 56-55 lead with 26 seconds left before a late foul sent Caupain to the charity stripe.
Titus Rubles (Dallas, Texas/Blinn College) grabbed 14 rebounds to match his career best. Jackson finished with eight points and seven rebounds, failing to record a blocked shot for only the third time in the last 35 games.
Harrell led the Cardinals with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Smith finished with 10 points and five assists and Terry Rozier had 11 points and six rebounds off the bench.
The Bearcats closed a topsy-turvy first half on a 10-1 run after trailing as many as 12 in the opening 20 minutes.
UC missed nine of its first 10 shots and Jackson was on the bench thanks to some early foul trouble. UofL jumped out on a 13-0 run over nearly nine minutes that saw the Cardinals up 21-11 with 3:35 left. With Jackson out, UofL went inside early and often, scoring 14 of their 22 first-half points in the paint.
Lawrence, playing extended minutes in the first half, slammed home a putback of a missed Kilpatrick three with 3:35 left to end a UC streak of 14 consecutive missed shots. That dunk started the 10-1 run to close the half which was capped by Caupain draining an off-balance jumper from the corner at the buzzer to make the halftime tally 22-19.
UC will play two of its final three games on the road, starting with a Saturday, March 1 matchup at UConn. The Bearcats and Huskies will tip at noon ET with ESPN and 700 WLW AM providing coverage. UC celebrates senior day against Memphis on March 6 at 7 p.m. ET and will close out the regular season at Rutgers on March 8 at noon.
The American Athletic Conference Championship is scheduled to run from March 12-15 at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn. Visit www.GoBEARCATS.com/tickets or call 1-877-CATS-TIX1-877-CATS-TIX for the inaugural event.