Bearcats Top Huskers 74-59|
Dec. 28, 2013
CINCINNATI -The University of Cincinnati men's basketball team completed non-conference action Saturday afternoon with a 74-59 victory over Nebraska at Fifth Third Arena. The win improved the Bearcats to 11-2 on the season and a perfect 10-0 at home.
Senior Sean Kilpatrick (Yonkers, N.Y./Notre Dame Prep) led all UC players with 21 points, including a career-high 17 free throws made. Kilpatrick now has 1,695 career points to remain in seventh place on the UC all-time scoring list.
Senior Justin Jackson (Cocoa Beach, Fla./Arlington Country Day) completed his third consecutive double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds while freshman Kevin Johnson (Cincinnati, Ohio/Summit Country Day) added a career-high 11 points with a career-high four rebounds. Jackson became the first Bearcat to post three straight double-doubles since Yancy Gates accomplished the feat in January 2012.
The Bearcats' defense held the Cornhuskers to 59 points, marking the 20th consecutive game that UC has held its opponents to under 70 points - the longest streak in the nation and the second longest in school history.
The teams opened the first half with a very even score line until a 7-0 run by the Bearcats gave the home team a 25-18 lead with 5:08 until halftime. The seven-point margin was the largest of the game for either team to that point. Johnson scored all seven points during the run to pace UC. The Bearcats held the Cornhuskers scoreless until a 3-point basket closed the Cincinnati lead to 25-21 with 4:23 remaining in the half.
The 7-0 spurt was part of a 17-9 run to close the half for Cincinnati. The Bearcats entered the locker room with a 35-27 lead after a last-second Nebraska put-back was waved off as time expired.
Johnson led all scorers with a career-high 11 points in the first half.
The Bearcats recorded a mere three turnovers in the first half, tying their lowest total in a half this season. UC also tallied three steals and four blocks.
Cincinnati slowly grew the lead in the second half and used a two-handed slam by Jackson to grab a 62-48 lead, its largest of the game. The dunk was part of a 7-0 UC scoring run that put the Bearcats comfortably ahead. Junior Jermaine Sanders (Far Rockaway, N.J./Rice) hit a three from the corner as the shot clock ran down to highlight the run.
The Bearcats will be back in Fifth Third Arena for a New Year's Day matchup against the SMU Mustangs at 6 p.m. It marks the inaugural American Athletic Conference game for both schools.