Jan 1, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; The Cincinnati Bearcats and the Southern Methodist Mustangs tipoff at Fifth Third Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bearcats Open Conference Play Victorious

Jan 1, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats forward Justin Jackson (5) reacts after getting a basket and a foul during the first half of the game against the Southern Methodist Mustangs at Fifth Third Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bearcats opened American Athletic Conference play on Wednesday night against the SMU Mustangs in the inaugural season of the AAC. Cincinnati hailing out of the former Big East defeated the former Conference USA team in SMU 65-57.

Cincinnati brought their old Big East style of play to Wednesday’s game. The defensive minded team did just that, focused on defense while the shooting offense continued to struggle a bit. Senior Sean Kilpatrick struggled from the field once again Wednesday night going 3 for 12 from the field, this comes after a 3 for 13 performance against Nebraska in the previous game. Kilpatrick scored 13 points Wednesday, not leading the team this time.

Justin Jackson is a man, he led the Bearcats to victory Wednesday night over the SMU Mustangs. Jackson known for his mean face after dunks and blocks led the team with 17 points and 6 rebounds Wednesday night. When asked about playing Big East style basketball in the AAC Jackson responded with “It is what it is, we just play basketball.” Jackson said it all right there about the Bearcats, they play their own style of basketball and it seems to be working with a 12-2 record and winners of 5 in a row.

Cincinnati opened AAC play in front of 7,239 in attendance. Multiple media outlets have made it a point to note that Fifth Third was half full. True it was, but students are not back yet and it was New Years day. Wait until school is back in session, if attendance is still down then well you can complain then.

The Bearcats return to the court this Saturday against the #18 Memphis Tigers in Memphis. This is the Bearcats biggest test of the season thus far. The game tips at Noon ET on ESPN2.

Tags: Cincinnati Bearcats

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