Bearcats Defeat No. 17 Louisville, 60-56|
Feb. 23, 2012
CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati men's basketball team (20-8, 10-5 BIG EAST) defeated No. 17 Louisville (21-7, 9-6 BIG EAST), 60-56, in front of a sell-out crowd at Fifth Third Arena on Thursday evening.
Cashmere Wright (Savannah, Ga./Urban Christian Academy) led all scorers with 22 points and tied a career-high with six 3-pointers. Yancy Gates (Cincinnati, Ohio/Withrow) added 10 points to go along with 10 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season. Sean Kilpatrick (White Plains, N.Y./Notre Dame Prep) and Dion Dixon (Chicago, Ill./Crane Technical Prep Common) contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The win marks the first time Cincinnati has recorded back-to-back 20-win seasons since the 2005 and 2006 campaigns. It is also the first time UC has earned 10 or more conference wins in consecutive seasons since it joined the BIG EAST Conference.
Wright started off hot from the early goings, putting UC's first points on the board off a 3-pointer. Louisville responded and made it a 10-7 game before Wright and Louisville's Russ Smith exchanged shots from downtown, which triggered a 3-point UC attack - including two each from Wright and Dixon - to push Cincinnati's lead, 22-18, with 9:31 left in the first half.
Cincinnati increased its lead to eight, 32-24, but Louisville went on a 6-0 run to close out the half and narrow the deficit, 32-30, heading into the break. Louisville committed nine turnovers in the first 20 minutes, but came within reach of the Bearcats via its 48 prcent (11-23) shooting.
Wright, once again, started the half with a 3-pointer, but a 9-0 run gave UofL its first lead since midway through the first stanza, 38-35, with 16:31 on the clock. It pushed its lead to as much as five, but UC gradually inched closer to the Cardinals before a Dixon dunk put the Bearcats on top once and for all, 46-45, with just under 10 minutes left on the clock.
UC drained back-to-back 3-pointers to take its largest lead of the evening, 56-47, with 4:42 on the clock. Louisville went on a 6-0 run to threat the Bearcats' lead, but Gates made the final free throw to make it a two-possession game and settle the upset.
The Bearcats travel to South Florida to battle the Bulls on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 12 p.m. The game will be televised on the BIG EAST Network or locally on the CW.