An old bugaboo resurfaced in the first half as Syracuse converted nine Cincinnati turnovers into 12 points. The Bearcats only turned the ball over more than nine times in one of the previous seven Big East games.
"I thought we played defense well enough to have the lead at halftime," said Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin.
While Cincinnati took better care of the basketball in the second half, its perimeter defense failed the Bearcats.
"Our defense was atrocious," Cronin said.
Junior point guard Cashmere Wright took it one step further, "We gave this game away, the guards, by letting them get back door. Our guards cost us the game."
THREE-POINT DISPLAY: It's amazing what one shot can do for a team's confidence. Syracuse, who missed on its first eight three-point attempt, finally found the range to hit back-to-back triples that sparked the game deciding run. The Orange exploded for a 14-3 that turned a three-point deficit into a nine-point lead. SU made one other three-pointer in the game, a deep three from Scoop Jardine that was essentially the final nail in the UC coffin.
QUICK START: The Bearcats jumped out fast on Syracuse, hitting four of their first five three-pointers – all before the first media timeout. Wright was 3-for-3 as UC jumped out to the 13-6 lead. Unfortunately, the ‘Cuse pushed its zone defense out further and Cincinnati's marksmanship took a hit. Cincinnati was 4-for-20 over the rest of the game.
Cincinnati, after scoring 13 points in the first four minutes, tallied 40 points in the final 36 minutes.
ON ONE LEG: Sophomore Sean Kilpatrick, who announced on twitter he had a pulled groin, was in the starting lineup. He finished with eight points, nine rebounds, four assists and zero turnovers. It was just the third time this season Kilpatrick failed to reach double figures.
MISSING DIXON: For the third time this season, senior guard Dion Dixon didn't reach double digits in the scoring column as he recorded just five points on 2-of-10 shooting. Cincinnati is winless in those games.