Tuesday night the Cincinnati Bearcats took to the floor at Fifth Third Arena against the Temple Owls looking to take their winning streak to 9 games. The Bearcats would do that, behind an ugly performance by everyone involved. Cincinnati won 69-58 Tuesday night.
Cincinnati started the night off slowly, scoring only 27 points in the first half while being ice cold from the field. Senior Sean Kilpatrick started the game off continuing his slump, that was until the second half. Temple is a team that should not have been on the same court as the Bearcats, yet in the first half they were able to stifle to Bearcats offense while managing to score enough to stay within two at the half.
Head Coach Mick Cronin was absolutely furious at the half, and that may be an understatement. Cronin called the Bearcats first half performance “terrible.” He then went on to say “I have to decide who I want to play in the second half…” Cronin was bee lining for the locker room at the half likely to rip his team before the CBS reporter called him back.
After the half Cincinnati came out struggling again. Some big blocks by Justin Jackson and good rebounds from Titus Rubles kept the Bearcats in the game. Then Sean Kilpatrick came alive hitting back to back threes along with a Jermaine Sanders three put Cincinnati back in control and they would never look back.
Justin Jackson and Titus Rubles both had double doubles Tuesday night. Jackson recorded 10 rebounds, 15 points and 6 blocks. Rubles meanwhile quietly had 12 rebounds and 13 points. Sean Kilpatrick led the team in scoring again with 23 points Tuesday night.
Cincinnati is now 16-2 on the year, 5-0 in the AAC currently sitting alone atop the standings. Cincinnati overcame their recent struggles of losing once they become ranked, the curse didn’t happen tonight but the win certainly wasn’t pretty. This team still has a lot of work to do.
The Bearcats return to the court Saturday (Jan 18th) at South Florida where they will face the Bulls at 5pm ET on ESPNU.