In a nearly empty Hofheinz Arena in Houston the Cincinnati Bearcats took on the Houston Cougars in the third American Athletic Conference game for the Cincinnati Bearcats. Cincinnati stormed into Houston hot off a win against #18 Memphis. The storm though would get rough as Cincinnati struggled in the second half of the game.
After dominating Memphis on Saturday the Bearcats looked to turn up their defense and smother the Cougars like they did the Tigers. In the first half Cincinnati did that out scoring the Cougars 40-24. Justin Jackson and the Bearcats made sure to not allow Houston to take good shots while getting the rebound as soon as possible. The offense showed up Tuesday night as well.
Senior Sean Kilpatrick led the Bearcats in scoring again Tuesday with 17 points. Titus Rubles overtook Justin Jackson as the top rebounder Tuesday night with 10 rebounds to Jacksons 7. Jermaine Sanders came off the bench for the Bearcats scoring 11 points playing in 31 minutes of the game.
While Cincinnati dominated the first half of the game, they certainly did not in the second half. With a 40-24 lead coming out of the half Cincinnati seemed to glide just putting on auto pilot. The defense backed off which allowed Houston to outscore Cincinnati 36 to 21 in the second half.
In the last minute of the game Cincinnati allowed Houston to get to close for comfort. When you look at the final score it is a one point game what that doesn’t tell you is Houston knocked down a three at the buzzer. Realistically Cincinnati had a 4 point victory.
Cincinnati returns home to Fifth Third Arena Saturday afternoon at 6PM ET to face the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers on the CBS Sports Network (same as tonight).