The streak continues for the Cincinnati Bearcats as the defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights Saturday night in front of a packed Fifth Third Arena 71-51. Cincinnati has now won eight games in a row including their first four conference games in the new America Athletic Conference to improve their record to 15-2 on the season.
The Bearcats entered their game against Rutgers off a close win in Houston on Tuesday night that saw their stifling defense become porous allowing Houston within one at the buzzer. Saturday night though the Cincinnati defense was back, the defense has been incredible this year behind the play of seniors Justin Jackson and Titus Rubles. Jackson with his 3 blocks Saturday helped to stop the Rutgers offense holding them to only 19 points in the second half.
Offensively the Bearcats have come to life after poor performances earlier in the season against the Pittsburgh Panthers and the Xavier Musketeers. Saturday though and the last seven games Cincinnati has scored 61 points or more in each of those games while playing great defense.
Saturday night the Bearcats were led in scoring once again by senior Sean Kilpatrick with 16 points. The surprise of the night for the Bearcats game from freshman point guard Troy Caupain and his 14 points. The young freshman went 2-3 from the three point mark helping to push the Bearcats to victory. Kilpatrick struggled again tonight from the field going 3-13 in attempted field goals. The senior needs to snap out of this slump soon and return to his 2012/2013 form.
All in all for the Bearcats Saturday night is exactly what they needed to do. Play dominating defense and score quickly and often. Cincinnati basketball used to be painstaking to watch but over the last few weeks Cincinnati has returned to rare form. There is still a lot of room for improvement with this team but come March it could get interesting.
Cincinnati returns to the court Tuesday night at 9Pm ET agains the Temple Owls (5-9) on CBSSN.