Originally posted on Bearcats Blog  |  Last updated 1/30/13
Cincinnati used a big second half to rally past Rutgers tonight, 62-54. Rutgers held the lead from the opening minutes until the 11 minute mark of the second half. The Scarlet Knights couldn't hold the lead because, to be quite frank, they are a bad basketball team. I tweeted after Rutgers took a 10 point lead that it was fortunate that Cincinnati was playing so badly against this team. A good one would have probably defeated them. This is why style points do not matter. Winning this game was very important. The margin, that didn't matter. A loss to a team like this wouldn't be good for the resume and it wouldn't be good for the Big East standings.  The Bearcats won with their defense. People love good offense. Like good offense, good defense gets players fired up to defend. Look no further than Justin Jackson. He blocked a season high 6 shots. He disrupted more than that. He was credited with a steal. Jackson played with the heart and hustle that we saw from him last season. It was reflected in the box score with 7 points and 7 rebounds to go with the 6 blocks. He had 3 assists. His offense is spurred on by his confidence. When he's playing great defense, he's very confident. He made a spectacular trailing block that was almost as beautiful as the one he had against Ohio State. A huge game from JJ. He also did a lot of this.  The Bearcats leading scorer was Sean Kilpatrick, who had 19. He scored 14 in the second half. He had 6 boards, a team high 4 assists and 2 steals. Another solid game for Killa. The Bearcats second leading scorer was Cheikh Mbodj. Mbodj hit double digits for the second time this season with 10. He got it on 5-7 shooting. He also had 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. Back to back big offensive games for him.  Rutgers turned the ball over 20 times. They hit 6-10 from 3 in the first half, but finished 2-7 in the second. The lack of 3 point shooting was part of the lock down defense Cincinnati played. Some of the Rutgers turnovers were unforced. Two of them came off inbound plays, which you wouldn't think would result in direct turnovers since they talk about those in the huddle.  Like I said up top, a win like this was needed. 17-4, 5-3 in the Big East sure looks lovely even if the game on the court did not.  Box score via SI   RUTGERS(12-8)   MIN REB (O/D) AST FG-A FT-A 3P-A PF ST TO BLK PTS Seagears * 34 0 (0/0) 3 4-10 0-0 3-5 3 1 3 0 11 Miller * 24 1 (0/1) 2 2-8 0-1 0-1 1 0 3 0 4 Poole * 23 4 (0/4) 0 1-3 0-0 1-1 1 0 1 1 3 Jack * 18 4 (1/3) 0 1-3 0-0 0-0 3 0 2 1 2 Judge * 17 4 (1/3) 0 1-1 2-2 0-0 4 0 2 0 4 Carter 24 3 (0/3) 1 3-11 4-4 1-6 5 1 2 0 11 Mack 23 0 (0/0) 0 5-8 2-2 3-4 3 2 5 0 15 Randall 17 3 (1/2) 0 0-0 2-2 0-0 2 0 0 0 2 Johnson 12 1 (0/1) 1 1-3 0-0 0-0 3 2 2 0 2 Kone 8 1 (1/0) 1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 0 0 TOTAL 0 21 (4/17) 8 18-48 10-11 8-17 25 8 20 2 54     37.5% 90.9% 47.1%   * Starters CINCINNATI(17-4)   MIN REB (O/D) AST FG-A FT-A 3P-A PF ST TO BLK PTS Kilpatrick * 39 6 (0/6) 4 5-13 6-8 3-8 2 2 3 0 19 Parker * 34 3 (1/2) 1 1-6 4-6 1-5 0 1 3 0 7 Jackson * 26 7 (4/3) 3 3-8 1-2 0-0 2 1 3 6 7 Mbodj * 24 5 (4/1) 1 5-7 0-0 0-0 4 0 1 2 10 Wright * 20 3 (1/2) 3 1-6 3-4 1-5 3 1 3 0 6 Rubles 18 4 (1/3) 2 1-1 4-6 0-0 1 1 1 0 6 Guyn 16 0 (0/0) 0 1-3 3-3 0-2 1 0 1 0 5 Gaines 10 2 (2/0) 0 1-2 0-0 0-0 2 1 1 0 2 Sanders 6 2 (0/2) 0 0-1 0-0 0-1 1 0 0 0 0 Thomas 5 0 (0/0) 0 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 Nyarsuk 2 0 (0/0) 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0 0 TOTAL 0 32 (13/19) 14 18-48 21-29 5-21 16 7 17 8 62     37.5% 72.4% 23.8%   * Starters   1 2 T RUTGERS  (12-8) 30 24 54 CINCINNATI  (17-4) 22 40 62
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