Cincinnati 77, Central Florida 49

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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ORLANDO, Fla. — Cincinnati guard Sean Kilpatrick poured in 23 points and forward Justin Jackson added 10 to carry the No. 7-ranked Bearcats to an easy 77-49 victory over Central Florida on Wednesday night.

Cincinnati (24-3, 13-1 American Conference) didn’t put another player in double figures, but they rolled to a 40-18 halftime lead and never let the Knights (10-14, 2-11) get closer than 17 in the second half.

UCF forward Isaiah Sykes had 13 points and 10 rebounds, but was the only player to reach double figures for the home team. UCF shot just 29.6 percent from the field, which included a disastrous 7-for-27 from 3-point territory.

Cincinnati did as it pleased in the first half, essentially settling the outcome in the first 15 minutes of the game. The Bearcats shot 47.1 percent from the floor the first half (16 of 34) and limited UCF to a paltry 17.4 percent (4 of 23). That included forcing UCF to miss its first 12 shots from behind the 3-point line, before the Sykes and forward Tristan Spurlock hit back-to-back treys in the final minute of the half.

Ironically, UCF hit its first two 3-point attempts in the second half and after a layup from Spurlock, had the deficit down to 45-28 and the home crowd enthusiastic for the first time all game.

The enthusiasm was short-lived, however. Jackson, a spark early in the game, hit a follow shot to start a 12-4 run that ended with a driving layup from guard Kevin Johnson that made it 54-30 with 11:48 left in the game.

UCF never got closer than 18 the rest of the game and Cincinnati used the time to get playing experience for most of its team. The Bearcats got scoring from all 10 players, including nine from forward Jermaine Sanders and eight from forward Shaquille Thomas.

Cincinnati’s only problem in the first half was making sure to rebound at the defensive end as UCF started the game 1-for-17 from the field, including 0-for-10 from 3-point territory.

The Bearcats were up to the task, outrebounding UCF 21-20 for the half and using the opportunities to go on a 24-2 run that gave the visitors a 26-6 lead. The run started with 17 consecutive points over a six-minute stretch where the Bearcats’ defense forced six turnovers and 10 straight missed shots.

Cincinnati’s offense came from a variety of areas. Jackson scored eight points and Thomas added six in the first 15 minute. Kilpatrick then took over, hitting three 3-pointers in the last two minutes for nine of his 14 points.

NOTES: Cincinnati’s No. 7 ranking is its highest rating in 10 years. … The Bearcats are fifth in the nation in points allowed (57.7 per game). It is the fewest points allowed at the school since 1962-63. … UCF F Isaiah Sykes is the only player in the American Conference ranked in the top 15 in scoring (16.1), rebounding (6.8), assists (3.6), steals (1.5) and shooting percentage (.471).

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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