Cincinnati could not find their rhythm last night, as Xavier were cooking on all cylinders. It's was a rocking atmosphere at U.S. Bank Arena with a crowd of 10,250 for the neutral site rivalry game. Skyline Crosstown Classic reverse rolls from last years game, as the Muskies ran the Bearcats out the gym.
Coach Mick Cronin was out coached and played in this game. He described it as, "walking into a street fight with a pink outfit on."
Muskies torch UC in the first half shooting 65-percent (13-20) from the field and 66.7-percent (6-9) from the 3-point range. Even with their leader Semaj Christon on the bench in foul trouble and 10 turnovers, they prevailed. UC gave up 41 points in the first half, while only shooting 32-percent.
Bearcats Sean Kilpatrick finish the game with 17 points and Shaquille Thomas added 13 points. Seniors Titus Rubles nor Justin Jackson could find be found, Rubles 0-6 from the field and his 3 points came from free throws.
Muskies were led by Justin Martin who finish with a career-high tying 17 points with 6 rebounds before he fouled out. Matt Stainbrook help with the domination on the bounds with 11 rebounds and 7 points.
Bearcats did fight back at the 13:24 mark in the second half by cutting the lead down to 10 points after Kilpatrick knocked down a couple free throws. But that was as close as UC would get to the Muskies the rest of the game.
Bearcats suffer their second loss in a row and snapped their 18-game win streak at U.S. Bank Arena. This put UC record at 7-2 as they head to New York's Madison Square for a match up with Pitt in the Jimmy V Classic.
Where this rivalry will go next is unknown, but what is known is both coaches would love to keep it going. Cronin hopes to keep the game at U.S. Bank Arena while Muskies coach Chris Mack supports the game's return to campuses. Both schools officials said they would wait until after Saturday's game to discuss the rivalry.