The Cincinnati Bearcats basketball team welcomed the Alabama Crimson Tide to Fifth Third Arena on Saturday for what proved to be a great matchup for the home team. The fans were on the edge of their seat as the final seconds ticked away on the scoreboard. Cashmere Wright brought it home at the buzzer and Cincinnati remained undefeated 58-56.
The Bearcats came out strong to start the game. They jumped out to an early 17-4 lead over the Crimson Tide, but it didn’t last long. Alabama got their footing on the road and quickly showed the Bearcats that they came to play. Going into the half the score was 33-27, with Cincinnati holding the slight lead.
The second half wasn’t so one-sided for the Bearcats. Alabama kept the game tight after the half and the lead changed hands eight times. Cincinnati was outscored 29-25 in the second half of play.
Cincinnati’s Sean Kilpatrick and JaQuon Parker led the team in scoring with 13 points each. Kilpatrick had five rebounds and two assists and Parker added six rebounds and two assists of his own. Titus Rubles came off of the bench with 10 points, five rebounds, and one assist to round out the double-digit scorers in the game. Cheikh Mbodj picked up eight points and five rebounds, while Cashmere Wright also added eight to the scoreboard with one rebound and two assists.
The real heroes in the victory were Justin Jackson and Wright. In the final seconds of the game, Crimson Tide guard Trevor Releford had his jump ball, which would have put the Bearcats away, batted away by Cincinnati’s Jackson. With possession of the rebound, Cincinnati called a time out and left the ball in Wright’s hands when the players returned to the court.
With just six seconds left on the clock Wright drove to the basket and shot his final jump shot of the night as time expired. The senior fell to his back as the ball fell through the hoop. Cincinnati won a buzzer beater sending Alabama back down south with their first loss of the season. The undefeated Bearcats will stay home to face the 6-3 Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans on Thursday night.