Cincinnati, OH – Sean Kilpatrick scored 25 points, and 11th- ranked Cincinnati remained unbeaten by downing crosstown rival Xavier, 60-45, at U.S. Bank Arena.
It was the first meeting since last season's ugly brawl. Last year's 76-53 win by Xavier was remembered for a benches-clearing incident that resulted in ejections and subsequent suspensions for both squads.
"Last year's incident is something that isn't going to happen again," Xavier guard Brad Redford said. "I think that both of these teams have a lot of respect for each other."
Cooler heads prevailed this time around, and the Bearcats won despite shooting 32.8 percent from the field. Cashmere Wright totaled 15 points and JaQuon Parker added 11 for the Bearcats (11-0), who have won 18 consecutive games at U.S. Bank Arena since a 70-55 loss to Temple on Jan. 16, 1997.
Travis Taylor had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Musketeers (7-3), who failed to build on a 62-55 win against Kent State 10 days ago.
Wright's 3-pointer in the final minute closed the Bearcats within 24-22 at the half. Cincinnati started the second stanza on a 12-2 spurt with Kilpatrick capping the burst with a made free throw with 16:13 remaining.
"Defensively, we were playing so flat and that's something that we're not really used to," Kilpatrick said. "So we just had to keep attacking them on the defensive end. We knew that shots were going to end up falling in the end."
Kilpatrick's 3-pointer from the left corner opened a 51-40 cushion with 6:12 left, and the margin remained in double-digits the rest of the way.
"At the beginning of the second half we just had a lot of turnovers," Taylor said. "We weren't as strong with the ball. They run a good trap and press so there was just a lot of turnovers and we just weren't strong with the ball. That's basically what happened."
It didn't help the Musketeers that they were shorthanded for much of the second half.
"To start the second half as Travis said we did a poor job of taking care of the ball. Then Dee (Davis) and Semaj (Christon) both cramped up and they're our two main ball handlers and then J-Mart (Justin Martin) picking up his fourth foul left us with a pretty short bench," Redford said. "We played the best we could during those minutes that they were out of the game, but we didn't do a good enough job."
This was the first meeting at U.S. Bank Arena since a 75-73 Cincinnati win on Jan. 29, 1987 when the facility was named Riverfront Coliseum ... This is the best start for the Bearcats since the 2010-11 squad started the year 15-0 en route to a 26-11 mark and NCAA tournament berth ... Cincinnati leads the all- time series, 49-31 ... Xavier was 3-of-14 on free throws and 2-of-13 from beyond the arc.