Cincinnati improved to 16-3, 4-2 in the Big East with a huge 71-69 overtime win against Marquette. The Bearcats were without point guard Cashmere Wright, but that didn't matter much. They got a career high 36 points from Sean Kilpatrick to beat Marquette. With the score tied at 69 with 14 seconds left, Kilpatrick took the ball, raced up the floor, put on a crossover dribble and scored a layup off the glass. Junior Cadougan raced down for Marquette, but his layup was no good.
Kilpatrick plain and simple put the team on his back. He had his 36 on 11-22 from the field, 5-13 from 3 and 9-10 at the free throw line. When UC needed a basket, he made it. When UC was slow on offense in the first half, SK took over. When Marquette tightened up the defense on him, the Golden Eagles were able to make a comeback. Only one other Bearcat had double figures. None else made more than 3 shots from the field. It was and incredible performance by an incredible player. I think it's safe to say that the slump is over. I love you, Sean Kilpatrick. I really do.
The Bearcats had 12 points from Titus Rubles, 10-12 free throws, and he had a team high 10 rebounds. JaQuon Parker went for 7 and 7. No one else really did anything notable. It was the Sean Kilpatrick show.
Marquette had one of the worst first halves of basketball you could imagine. They scored 13 points. Their effective field goal percentage was 17.8%. In the second half, they scored 50 points. They hit 8-16 from 3 in the second half. Cincinnati played a lot of zone and Marquette tore it apart. Especially Vander Blue, who had 19 points. The Marquette big man Davante Gardner was as good as advertised. He was just 1-8 from the field, but he got to the foul line 15 times. He fouled out all 3 UC big men. He had a game high 11 rebounds.
This was a game that looked fantastic when UC was up 16 at the half. The Bearcats had the biggest lead in the first half for any Big East game this season. Marquette made a run and thoroughly outplayed UC in the second half, but the Bearcats were able to rally back and find a way to win. This team has a lot of heart. They don't have a good backup point guard, they don't have big men worth a damn, but they leave it all on the floor. That's all you can ask. We've seen teams fold under pressure like this. This one didn't.
In a game without your point guard, you senior leader, this team beat a top 25 team. Yes it was at home. Yes, there was a blatant no call late in the game when Gardner had Rubles do a John Cena type of shoulder block, but the officials were awful all night long. That's no excuse. Cincinnati got a big win. They got it on a last minute shot. That means one thing and one thing only.
Ok two things.
Box score via SI