Cincinnati came into last nights game against Temple as a ranked team for the first time this season. UC ranked 19th in the AP Top 25 Poll and 23rd in the USA Today Poll, improved their record to 16-2; 5-0 in AAC. While UC went on to their ninth straight victory, Temple lost it's fifth straight (5-10; 0-5 AAC).
Sean Kilpatrick nailed six three point shots (6-13) tied his season high, finishing the game with 23 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Kilpatrick moved into top five all-time on UC three pointers made (264) and he also moved into sixth on the UC all-time scoring list (1,779) passing Pat Cummings.
"It's a good sign, but I'm not surprised," said Coach Mick Cronin. "He's a good shooter. He's watching film, and seeking advice from the coaching staff. With him he's playing a lot of minutes, there's a lot on his shoulders. As great a player as he is, and hopefully he goes down here as the second leading scorer of all time, there are a lot of great players that go through tough stretches in a season and it would be unrealistic to think that it's not going to happen."
Facing a tough Owls 2-3 zone, UC needed the outside shot to fall and good ball movement. "I remember one play, we found Justin (Jackson) in the middle of the zoneo and he threw it down to Titus (Rubles) who was able to make a play," Kilpatrick explained. "It is a good thing that we have guys like him (Justin Jackson) and Titus who can actually pass from the high post – and especially Jermaine Sanders. That is something that we harped on at halftime."
Fellow seniors Justin Jackson and Titus Rubles both finished with double-doubles. Jackson scored 15 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks before fouling out. Rubles scored 13 points with 12 rebounds and was clearly a huge boost to the team in the 2nd half.
"With him (Rubles) being the glue-guy of this team and being somebody that controls everything when things are tough for us, that is something that we expect from him," said Kilpatrick. "He continues to keep working hard every day."
UC held their opponent under 70 points for the 25th consecutive game, the longest active streak in the nation. Defense has been a hallmark for this years team and they take that defense on the road this weekend. Bearcats face USF continuing league play on the road Saturday at 5 p.m.
Check out footage from post game players conference with Kilpatrick and Jackson: