Nov. 8, 2013
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CINCINNATI - Sean Kilpatrick (Yonkers, N.Y./Notre Dame Prep) scored 22 while Titus Rubles (Dallas, Texas/Blinn College) and Jermaine Sanders (Far Rockaway, N.Y./Rice) added 13 apiece as the University of Cincinnati men's basketball team earned a 74-61 win over North Carolina Central in the season opener for both squads, Friday at Fifth Third Arena.
The Bearcats (1-0) never trailed after the 8:39 mark of the first half and moved to 92-21 all-time in season openers, including an 81-10 mark on the home court.
Sanders' 13 set a career high, while Kilpatrick tallied his 19th career 20-point game. Rubles just missed his career scoring high of 14 but added eight rebounds. Kilpatrick continued his climb up UC's career scoring chart, moving into 15th place with 1,466 points.
Justin Jackson (Cocoa Beach, Fla./Arlington Country Day) finished with eight points, three rebounds and three blocked shots.
After NCCU (0-1) pulled within five with just over seven minutes remaining, UC closed the final 6:44 on a 12-4 run which featured six points from Kilpatrick and four from Sanders.
The Eagles had crept back from a 15-point deficit with 16:17 remaining by using a 10-2 run over 3:34 to pull the margin to 62-57 with 7:04 remaining. Their comeback hopes were dealt a blow when Jeremy Ingram fouled out with 6:19 left. Ingram departed after scoring a game-high 27 points.
Jay Copeland also found double figures, scoring 11 points and grabbing eight rebounds before fouling out with 4:12 remaining. Foul trouble was an issue for the visitors, as Jordan Parks also fouled out for the Eagles, while another pair of NCCU players finished the game with four fouls.
After trailing by as many as eight early, UC outscored NCCU 34-12 over the final 12 minutes of the first half to build a 40-26 lead at the break.
Nine players scored in the opening 20 minutes for the Bearcats, who tallied 14 second-chance points off of 11 offensive rebounds and converted 11 points off nine Eagles' turnovers. The UC bench also out-scored the NCCU reserves, 23-13.
Cincinnati continues a seven-game homestand to open this season on Tuesday, Nov. 12, welcoming NC State in for a 5 p.m. ET tipoff inside Fifth Third Arena. The Bearcats and Wolfpack are part of ESPN's College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.
Due to the unusual tip time, fans are encouraged to arrive early to Fifth Third Arena to avoid traffic delays. Tickets are available by visiting CATSTIX.com or calling 1-877-CATS-TIX.