Saturday afternoon the Cincinnati Bearcats traveled to Memphis to face the University of Memphis Tigers the #18 team in the nation and easily Cincinnati’s toughest opponent to date. This game marked Cincinnati’s second conference game of the season. The Bearcats would leave Memphis undefeated in conference play with a 69-53 win.
Cincinnati heated their first ranked opponent this year while handing Memphis their third loss of the season. A game that was a one point contest at half was blown open by the Bearcats midway through the second half. Cincinnati out scored Memphis 42-27 in the second half, a huge half for the Bearcats who have been offensively challenged at times this season.
The Bearcats were led once again by seniors Justin Jackson and Sean Kilpatirck. Cincinnati was led in scoring by Kilpatrick who had 18 points but the real star of the game was Jackson. “Jumpin Jack” as he is know on twitter lead the Bearcats in rebounds as usual with 8 rebounds and 13 points. Jackson’s attitude, leadership and play has made him an intricate leader on this team.
Cincinnati has brought their former Big East style of play to the new AAC and it seems to be working thus far. Both games the Bearcats have played have been against former members of Conference USA and it appears the defense the Bearcats play has confused both squads.
Mick Cronin tweeted yesterday about a Memphis fan.
A Memphis fan yelled same old Bearcats…. What a compliment!! I said thank you.
— Mick Cronin (@CoachCroninUC) January 5, 2014
The “same old Bearcats” are playing the best basketball they have played in awhile, certainly the best all season. The Bearcats are finally winning games the way everyone expected. Fans had high expectations this year, the Xavier game killed some energy but with the win Saturday the excitement has to return to Fifth Third Arena.
Cincinnati travels to Houston Tuesday for a game against the Cougars at 9PM ET on CBSSN.