Oct. 29, 2012
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CINCINNATI -- Four Bearcats reached double-figure point totals and No. 24 Cincinnati defeated Grand Valley State 80-60 in exhibition action Monday evening at Fifth Third Arena.
Preseason first-team All-BIG EAST junior guard Sean Kilpatrick (Yonkers, N.Y./Notre Dame Prep) led all scorers with 18 points and added a game-high eight rebounds.
Senior guards JaQuon Parker (Suffolk, Va./King's Fork) and Cashmere Wright (Savannah, Ga./Urban Christian Academy) produced 16 and 13 points, respectively, while junior forward Titus Rubles (Dallas, Texas/Blinn College) totaled 11 and eight boards.
After leading by just nine points through halftime, Kilpatrick, Parker and Rubles all hit triples during a 19-6 second-half-opening run that put the Bearcats ahead by 22 at 57-35 with 15:42 remaining.
Cincinnati built a game-high 25-point margin after a jumper by Parker at the 12:43 mark. However, Grand Valley State would later go on a 13-2 that cut the lead to 66-54 at the 6:10 mark.
With the Red and Black clinging to an 11-point lead, a Rubles steal and fast-break dunk with 2:44 left halted the Lakers' momentum and sparked a 9-0 UC run to close out the game. UC ended the game with a 13-0 advantage in fast-break points.
UC's defensive intensity was a constant throughout the game as GVSU was limited to a 38.6 percent shooting percentage and was blocked seven times, led by Bearcats senior center Cheikh Mbodj's (Dakar, Senegal/Grayson County [Texas] College) five swats, which would've tied his career high had it been a regular-season tilt.
The Bearcats full-game defensive effort was evidenced when it forced GVS into a shot-clock violation with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game.
Through the first half, Cincinnati led by nine, at 38-29, as Wright and Kilpatrick led all scorers with seven points. UC's defense was solid through the first 20 minutes after limiting GVS to 37.9 percent shooting from the field.
Wright's step-back 3-pointer at the 5:02 mark of the first period put the Bearcats up 34-22 - their largest lead of the half.
Cincinnati also enjoyed a 22-16 first-half rebounding edge, as four Bearcats pulled down three boards apiece. UC ended the night outrebounding GVSU 41-33.
UC junior center David Nyarsuk's (Juba, Sudan/Mountain State University) first field goal as a Bearcat came by way of a dunk, off a feed by Wright, and gave UC its first double-digit lead of the game at the 7:53 mark of the first. Nyarsuk finished the night with three points, three rebounds, one block and an assist in nine minutes.
After a back-and-forth start to the game, a 7-0 run starting at the 13:55 mark gave the Bearcats some breathing room and a 17-9 lead.
UC plays host to Bellarmine in its exhibition finale at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5. The game can be seen live on BearcatsTV.