The No. 24 Cincinnati Bearcats entered New Jersey Saturday morning for an 11am start vs the Pirates of Seton Hall looking to pick up their 6th conference win of the year. After a scrappy first half, and an up-and-down second half the Bearcats finally held off the Pirates for good with a 65-59 win.
We’ll forgive both teams for being sloppy in the first half, as these kids aren’t accustomed to Big East tip offs before noon. There was not a stellar display of field goal shooting or great fundamentals in the first half, as both teams shot under 40% and had very bad mental lapses on offense.
Cincinnati took the lead at half, 33-28, behind 12 points from Sean Kilpatrick and 11 from Cashmere Wright. Seton Hall star Fuquan Edwin was on the bench with 2 fouls for most of the half, but Brandon Mobley stepped up for the Pirates and had 12 points of his own.
Seton Hall actually led the rebounding battle at half 20-17, something the Bearcats haven’t seen very often this year. Cheikh Mbodj also continued his hot streak on defense with 4 first half blocks.
The Bearcats came out red hot in the second half and 5 minutes in had a 20-0 run (including end of the first half) to take a 48-31 lead.
Seton Hall responded with a 20-4 run of their own to cut the lead to 4 points at 52-48. The huge run by Seton Hall was started when Mick Cronin gave the reserves some minutes with a big lead, in which the Bearcats did not capitalize.
The starters were brought back in and could not hit shots from long range, but the clutch free throw shooting kept a big enough lead to pull away at the end.
Sean Kilpatrick finished with 21 points and 7 rebounds, while Cashmere Wright added 17 points and 4 assists. Cheikh Mbodj added an efficient 7 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 blocks while JaQuon Parker added 9 second half points, 6 from the free throw line. Cincinnati finished 21-27 from the line and ended up out rebounding the Pirates 36-32.
Brandon Mobley and Fuquan Edwin each added 16 for the Pirates as Cincinnati held off the Pirates 65-59.
Cincinnati continues their road trip at Providence on Wednesday night at 7. Cincinnati is now 18-4 and 6-3 in the Big East, while the Friars are 10-11 and 2-7 in the Big East.
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