The University of Cincinnati Men’s Basketball team open the 2013-2014 season Friday night at Fifth Third Arena, with a 74-61 win over a pesky North Carolina Central team, a team the Bearcats didn’t put a away to til like the final five minutes of the game.
Bearcats Senior guard Sean Kilpatrick led the team in scoring, with a team high 22 points, Senior Titus Rubels added in 13 points and 8 rebounds, and Junior Jermaine Sanders had a career high 13 points.
The Bearcats got off to a cold start from the field, as they trailed through the first 7 minute of the game, its very vital for the offense to be more efficient this season than they were last season. Head Coach Mick Cronin said after the game he didn’t like his team half court defense, this season the team is going to press more, but they used it after trailing through most of the first half to get the team going.
In the second half NCCU, pulled within five with just over seven minutes remaining, UC closed the final six minuets of the game on a 12-4 run.
The Eagles had crept back from a 15-point deficit with 16 minutes left remaining by using a 10-2 run to pull within in 62-57 with seven minutes left. Their upset bid dreams were dealt a huge blow when their best player Jeremy Ingram fouled out with 6:19 left. Ingram left the game after scoring a game-high 27 points.
After trailing by as many as eight early, UC outscored NCCU 34-12 over the final 12 minutes of the first half to build a 40-26 lead at the break, frankly thanks to the defense lighting the spark. First impression of this game is that they still got a lot to improve, but it’s the first game and I think a game like this is good for this young team.
Cincinnati continues a seven-game homestand to open this season on Tuesday, Nov. 12, welcoming NC State in for a 5 p.m. ET tipoff in Fifth Third Arena. The Bearcats and Wolfpack are part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon, so skip class if you can and come out!