Ring of red games always bring out the best in the Bearcats and yesterday in particular it looked like it shook Sean Kilpatrick out of his slump. Over the past few weeks he’s been a ghost of himself, barely scoring double-digit points from the field and overall just unable to find his shot. But last night behind a sea of almost 13,000 fans dressed in red, Kilpatrick had the best game of his career. He dropped 36 points, shot 48% from the field, over 35% from three point land, and hit 9 of 10 free throws. All standard Kilpatrick-like numbers. To cap the day, in the waning seconds of overtime he drove strong to the hoop and put up an awkward layup that hit high off the board and rattled home, putting Cincinnati up for good.
All of this was done, remember, with Cashmere Wright sidelined with a sprain to his knee. Without him in the lineup it was encouraging seeing Sean Kilpatrick step up and lead the Bearcats to victory. Other strong performances of note include Titus Rubles who earned the first double-double of his UC career (12, 10). He also got back in the habit of wearing his arm sleeve. Coincidence? I think not. I was also impressed with Jermaine Sanders who started for Cincinnati for the first time. He only notched 6 points, two three pointers in the opening minutes of the game, but I really liked the way he handled himself with the added pressure on him. It looks like he could have a nice career in red and black.