UC Opens American Play against SMU

Dec. 29, 2013

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The University of Cincinnati men’s basketball team plays its first game in the American Athletic Conference when it faces SMU on Wednesday at Fifth Third Arena. The game tips at 6 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPNU and 700 WLW.

Fans can purchase tickets at GoBEARCATS.com/tickets or by calling 1-877-CATS-TIX.

Cincinnati (11-2) completed nonconference play on Saturday with a 74-59 home win over Nebraska. Sean Kilpatrick led all Bearcats scorers for the 11th time in 13 games with 21 points, including a career-high 17 free throws. Justin Jackson posted his third straight double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds to go with four blocks. Freshman Kevin Johnson helped spark the Bearcats in the first half and finished with a career-high 11 points.

Wednesday’s contest completes a four-game homestand for the Bearcats. UC enters the SMU game 10-0 at home.

SMU (10-2) is coming off a 62-54 road win at Wyoming on Dec. 20. Two Mustangs scored in double figures with Markus Kennedy posting a team-high 15 points and seven rebounds. Nic Moore added 10 points and three assists.

Cincinnati owns a slight 2-1 lead in the all-time series with SMU, including a 2-0 mark in Cincinnati. The two teams haven’t played since a 106-74 UC win at the Armory Field House on Jan. 15, 1975.

UC plays its first conference road game on Saturday when it visits nationally ranked Memphis for a Noon tipoff.  

Game at a Glance
Series Info: Fourth Meeting; Cincinnati leads 2-1; Cincinnati leads 2-0 in Cincinnati; SMU leads 1-0 at neutral sites.
Current Streak: Cincinnati - 1
Last Meeting: Cincinnati won 106-74 in the Armory Field House on Jan. 15, 1975.
Coaches: Mick Cronin is in his eighth season at Cincinnati (146-102); 11th season overall (215-126). Larry Brown is in second season at SMU (25-19); ninth season as a college head coach (196-79); 39th season overall at all levels (1,677-1,211).
Rankings: Cincinnati and SMU are not ranked in either the AP or USA Today polls for Dec. 30.
Radio: 700 WLW-AM; Dan Hoard provides play-by-play with color analyst Chuck Machock.
TV: ESPNU; Jason Benetti provides play-by-play with color analyst Tim Welsh.
UC Twitter Page: @GoBEARCATS

Cincinnati Storylines
-Wednesday’s game marks Cincinnati’s first in the new American Athletic Conference. The league is the Bearcats’ sixth since joining the Missouri Valley Conference for the 1957-58 campaign. UC was an independent from 1971-75.
-The Bearcats are 20-3 in conference openers since 1990 (start of the Bob Huggins coaching era). UC was 6-2 in league openers in the former BIG EAST Conference, winning the last four.
-The Bearcats are also 5-0 in their first league game when joining a new conference.
-A win on Wednesday would match the Mick Cronin-era record for consecutive home wins at 13, accomplished twice (first 13 home games of the 2010-11 season and 13 consecutive from Feb. 4, 2012 to Dec. 12, 2012). The Bearcats won their final two home games last season and have claimed 10 in a row to start the 2013-14 campaign.
-The Bearcats haven’t surrendered more than 67 points in a game all season and have held their opponent under 70 points for 20 consecutive games  - the nation’s longest active streak. The school record is 35 straight games spanning three seasons, starting with 1962 NCAA championship game and concluding on Dec. 20, 1963.
-Sean Kilpatrick leads the American in scoring (19.1 points per game); is tied for second in three-pointers made per game (2.6); and ranks fifth in free-throw percentage (.865). The American preseason first-team selection is among the nation’s Top 50 players on both the Wooden and Naismith Award lists.
-Justin Jackson has recorded three consecutive double-doubles and is averaging 15.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and 1.8 steals during UC’s current four-game winning streak. He is shooting a team-best 63.6 percent from the field (28 of 44) during the stretch.