College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, January 30, 2014
The Cincinnati Bearcats won their 13th straight game and lead the American conference with a perfect, 9-0, mark after going on the road to top #12 Louisville, 69-66, Thursday night.
Cincinnati, ranked #13 in the latest poll, should move up with the win, sparked by aggressive defense and a second half surge by fifth-year senior, Sean Kilpatrick, who was just 2-for-9 in the first half, but scored 23 of his 28 points in the second half to carry the Bearcats to victory.
Kilpatrick was deadly down the stretch, scoring 12 of the final 14 points for Cincinnati, including straight straight free throws, as the the Bearcats held off a determined Louisville squad.
Leading by as many as 17 points in the first half, the Bearcats turned the ball over on four straight possessions early in the second half, allowing Louisville to cut into the lead. The Cardinals actually took the lead at 64-61 on a Russ Smith three with 5:03 remaining to play, but Cincinnati stepped up the defense again, outscoring Louisville, 8-2, down the stretch.
Kilpatrick finished 7-for-18 with three three-pointers and was 11-for-11 from the foul line, adding five rebounds and two assists to his 37 minute effort. The Bearcats were 17-for-18 from the stripe and out-rebounded Louisville, 36-25.
The Bearcats have a 2 1/2 game edge in the conference. Both Louisville and Memphis are 6-2, tied for second place. 20-2 Cincinnati hasn't lost since a 64-47 setback to Xavier on December 14. They host South Florida on Sunday and UConn this coming Thursday.