Cincinnati defense continues to give opponents trouble, as well as, big play from senior Justin Jackson. Jackson played 38 minutes while scoring 12 points, four steals, was held to two rebounds and tying a career-high with 7 blocks. "I have to give it to UCF," Jackson said. "They did a great job of boxing out the whole game. Everyone on the team knew they were going to box out, but they stuck with it the whole game."
One the biggest plays of the night came in the second half when Jackson made a huge block on UCF Staphon Blair dunk attempt, which followed a mean face. "That block today, I hope it makes SportsCenter Top 10, it should," said Kilpatrick. That block had the student section going crazy and the chants of Jackson name rung out throughout the arena.
"I wasn't really paying attention to be honest," Jackson said about the chants. "I heard them, but that isn't really my focus. At that time I was making sure that UCF didn't get the rebound. Looking back on it is an honor. Getting your name chanted. You don't hear that every day."
Sean Kilpatrick finished the game with 19 points, 14 of those points came in the second half after sitting most of the first half due to foul trouble. Jermaine Sanders added 10 points and four rebounds off the bench.
UC defense was a key to keeping UCF's Isaiah Sykes under control, he finish the game with 9 points, 2-12 shooting and 8 rebounds. Kilpatrick talked about the importance locking up Sykes and guarding a lefty. "It is hard to play against lefties like that knowing that he can slither through defenses like that and can make tough shots," Kilpatrick explained. "Being able to bottle him up throughout the whole game and show support off the non-shooters is something that we harped on during shoot around."
UC now ranked 15th in the AP poll and 16th in USA Today poll know their still a long road ahead to gain the respect of the nation. Coach Mick Cronin explained, "A lot of people may not talk about our team and our defense, but I believe in our talent. I want our kids to get the respect they deserve. But to do that, you got to be more efficient on offense and be crisp for 40 minutes."
Up next for the Bearcats is a road contest Sunday against Temple, which the beat last week 69-58. Currently on a win streak coach Cronin knows he has to keep his team focus. "It can't just be about, well, we won," Cronin explained. "I am trying to get us away from that. I want us to try to play great 40 minutes. The day could be coming at Temple on Sunday that if we don't do that, we could lose."