Jan. 1, 2014
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Justin Jackson scored 17 points as the Cincinnati Bearcats pulled away for a 65-57 win over SMU on Wednesday night in the first game for both teams in the new American Athletic Conference.
Sean Kilpatrick overcame a second straight poor shooting night to finish with 13 points and Jermaine Sanders and Shaquille Thomas each added 10 as the Bearcats (12-2) extended their winning streak to five games.
Kilpatrick, who went into the game leading the AAC with an average of 19.1 points per game, is a combined 5 for 25 over his last two games.
Markus Kennedy was the only Mustang to reach double figures, finishing with 12 points as SMU (10-3) was held to its second-lowest point total of the season. The Mustangs saw their winning streak snapped at five games.
Sanders connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to help Cincinnati take a 32-30 halftime lead. Kennedy scored six of the last eight points of a 16-3 SMU run that left the Mustangs leading, 22-14, with 6:34 left in the first half. The Bearcats countered with a 12-0 run capped by four straight points by Jackson, whose five blocked shots before halftime matched his season high for a game. The Bearcats never trailed after Jackson converted a three-point play for a 24-22 lead with 3:24 left before halftime.
SMU outrebounded Cincinnati 32-30, winning the rebounding margin for the 12th time in 13 games. The Mustangs have outrebounded its opponents 70-36 in the second half of the last three games.
The Mustangs will return home for the first game in the newly-renovated Moody Coliseum on Saturday at 1 p.m. against Connecticut. The renovation included an improved main entry lobby, expanded concourses with raised ceilings, club seats, loge boxes, private suites, group suites, a new event space, offices, new lockers rooms and meeting spaces, as well as a new team store and concession spaces. Saturday's contest is sold out and will air live on ESPNU. The Mustangs will wear red jerseys for this special occasion. Mustang fans are also encouraged to wear red. For complete gameday information, visit smumustangs.com/gameday.