Just a few days after grabbing their biggest win of the season in a down-to-the-wire thriller over Louisville, the Cincinnati Bearcats were back in action on Saturday as a heavy favorite over South Florida. Unfortunately for Mick Cronin and company, it wasn’t the walk in the park that many expected, but in the end, Cincy held on for a 50-45 win.
It was a rough shooting day for star guard Sean Kilpatrick, as he launched 18 attempts with just 5 conversions. Still, Kilpatrick led the team in scoring with 18 points (with some help from 6-for-6 at the charity stripe), and those points were crucial in helping the Bearcats overcome a 33% shooting day (yikes) as a team. In support of Kilpatrick, big man Justin Jackson had a big day, scoring 15 points and grabbing 6 rebounds, and if there was a bright spot for Cincy offensively, it was that they took care of the ball with only 8 giveaways.
For USF, this was a big missed opportunity, but the 3-ball simply betrayed them, and that is a much-needed recipe in order to pull off a major upset. The Bulls shot just 1-for-11 from beyond the arc, and the majority of their starting lineup had “off” days, with reserve forward Chris Perry leading the team with 13 points.
It wasn’t a blowout by any stretch of the imagination, but conference play is all about grabbing wins (with or without style points), and the Bearcats improved to 10-0 in the AAC with this victory.