Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 2/2/14
Cincinnati needed some grit and high-scoring performances from Sean Kilpatrick to extend its lengthy win streak in back-to-back road games. Keeping that run going at home hasn't been as tough lately. The 13th-ranked Bearcats will try for another lopsided victory at Fifth Third Arena on Sunday and match their best start there when they face South Florida, the lowest-scoring team in the American Athletic Conference. Cincinnati (20-2, 9-0) pulled out wins at Temple last Sunday and at No. 12 Louisville on Thursday despite blowing sizable leads in the second half of each game. The Bearcats frittered away a 19-point advantage against Temple, but came away with an 80-76 victory by making four free throws in the final seven seconds and getting a key block from Jermaine Sanders.   They wasted a 17-point lead against Louisville but kept the Cardinals without a field goal in the final five minutes in a 69-66 win, their 13th in a row. Despite being questionable for the game with an ankle injury, Justin Jackson converted the go-ahead tip-in with 1:41 left. Kilpatrick, the AAC's leading scorer at 19.5 points per game, went 11 of 11 from the free-throw line while finishing with 28 points. He scored a season-high 29 at Temple. The sharpshooting guard and fellow senior starters Titus Rubles and Jackson comprise a leadership core that coach Mick Cronin says helped the Bearcats survive their two close games. "You can't understand the fortitude of Titus, Justin and Sean," Cronin said. "I know what those guys are made of. That's why we have the record we have. You know what they say in a fight: everybody's tougher when they got tough guys around them, and I got three of the toughest guys in the country. It makes it easier on my other guys." Cronin's club also had to fight through a tough game when it visited South Florida on Jan. 18, winning 61-54 as Kilpatrick scored 18 points. The Bulls (11-10, 2-6) tied the game with 8:37 remaining but were held to seven points the rest of the way. Cincinnati enters this matchup having won its past three home games by an average of 16.4 points, improving to 14-0 there. The program's only better start at Fifth Third was 15-0 in 2001-02. The Bearcats are 14-1 all-time at home against South Florida but needed overtime for a 61-53 win March 9. Cincinnati, though, is currently the AAC's top defensive team and one of the best in the nation while the Bulls are averaging a conference-low 67.0 points. The Bearcats are allowing 57.3 points per game on 38.6 percent shooting and have given up an average of 54.5 points in their last eight home contests. Cincinnati is riding its longest win streak since a 15-0 start in 2010-11 and best start in league play since going 16-0 in Conference USA in 1999-2000. The Bulls will try to halt those runs and a 14-game skid to ranked opponents. They faced three Top 25 teams in a row during a season-high, four-game losing streak that ended with a 78-71 win over SMU on Tuesday. Leading scorer Victor Rudd (14.7 ppg) had 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting after averaging 7.3 points and shooting 28.6 percent during the losing streak. He had 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting in the loss to Bearcats on Jan. 18 and scored 22 at Cincinnati in March.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark


Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker