Seventh-Ranked Bearcats Head to SMU

Feb. 7, 2014

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CINCINNATI - The seventh-ranked University of Cincinnati men’s basketball team travels to Dallas to take on SMU on Saturday. The game tips at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPNU and 700 WLW.

Cincinnati (22-2, 11-0 American) won its 15th consecutive game on Thursday, outlasting UConn 63-58 at Fifth Third Arena.

Sean Kilpatrick led all scorers with 26 points on 8-of-15 shooting with five three-pointers to go with a game-high 12 rebounds and six assists. Justin Jackson added 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting plus six rebounds.

SMU (18-5, 7-3 American) topped Temple 75-52 on Thursday at home. Markus Kennedy and Shawn Williams scored 14 points each while Kennedy grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.

Cincinnati and SMU have played only four games in series history with the Bearcats owning a 3-1 advantage. UC claimed a 65-57 win on New Year’s Day when the two teams met to open conference play. Jackson led the Bearcats with 17 points, six rebounds, five blocks and five steals. Saturday’s matchup marks the first at SMU in series history.

Following the SMU contest, UC is off until it plays host to Houston on Feb. 15.

Game at a Glance
Series Info: Fifth Meeting; Cincinnati leads 3-1; Cincinnati leads 3-0 in Cincinnati; SMU leads 1-0 at neutral sites.
Current Streak: Cincinnati - 2
Last Meeting: Cincinnati won 65-57 at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati on Jan. 1, 2014.  
Coaches: Mick Cronin is in his eighth season at Cincinnati (157-102); 11th season overall (226-126). Larry Brown is in his second season at SMU (33-22); ninth season as a college head coach (210-83);
Rankings: Cincinnati is ranked No. 7 in both the AP and USA Today polls.
SMU is not ranked but is receiving votes in both polls.
Radio: 700 WLW-AM; Dan Hoard provides play-by-play with color analyst Chuck Machock.
TV: ESPNU; Adam Amin provides play-by-play with color analyst Brooke Weisbrod.  
UC Twitter Page: @GoBEARCATS

Cincinnati Storylines
-Cincinnati’s No. 7 ranking in the AP poll is its highest since being No. 6 on Jan. 20, 2004.
-UC is off to its best start overall (22-2) and in conference play (11-0) in Mick Cronin’s eight-year tenure as head coach.
-The Bearcats are off to their best start since the 2001-02 squad began 26-2 en route to finishing 31-4 overall - the school record for wins in a season.
-Entering Friday, UC was one of eight teams in the nation with two or fewer losses on the season.
-Entering Friday, UC was tied with Saint Louis for the fifth-longest active win streak in the nation at 15 games. The win streak is UC’s longest since starting 15-0 in 2010-11.
-UC is 11-0 in league play for the first time since 1999-2000 (ended 16-0 in Conference USA).
-UC has a 18-game home win streak. The Bearcats won their final two home games last season and are 16-0 at Fifth Third Arena in 2013-14. Thursday’s win over UConn set the arena record for most consecutive home wins to start a season.
-Sean Kilpatrick was named the American’s Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 23.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in two wins last week.
-Kilpatrick leads the American in scoring (19.7 points per game), ranks second in three-pointers made (2.7) and third in free-throw shooting (86.0 percent). He is averaging 25.3 points and 6.8 rebounds over UC’s last four games.
-Kilpatrick will tie the school record for consecutive games play Saturday at SMU, matching Keith Gregor (131 games from 1993-95).
-Justin Jackson ranks fourth in the nation in total blocks (78) and eighth in blocks per game (3.3). He ranks among the AAC’s leaders in blocks (first at 3.3), offensive rebounds (second at 3.1), rebounds (sixth at 7.0), field-goal shooting (fifth at 56.7 percent) and steals (eighth at 1.7).
-Ge’Lawn Guyn has recorded 10 steals and committed only five turnovers in 133 minutes during the past six games.