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(Monday, December 31st)
Final Score: (14) Cincinnati 70, (24) Pittsburgh 61
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Cashmere Wright netted 18 points and Sean Kilpatrick added 16 in No. 14 Cincinnati's 70-61 win over 24th-ranked Pittsburgh in the Big East opener for both teams.
JaQuon Parker finished with 13 points for the Bearcats (13-1, 1-0 Big East), who bounced back from their first loss of the season to New Mexico on Thursday.
"Not many people win here, and I don't think many people are going to win here this year," Bearcats head coach Mike Cronin said. "Pitt's a very different basketball team than it was a year ago. We were well aware of that. We're a much better team than we were a year ago as well. Our kids showed a lot of togetherness today."
Talib Zanna tallied 16 points and five rebounds to lead Pittsburgh (12-2, 0-1), which had its eight-game winning streak snapped.
"Tale of two halves," Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon said. "Up eight and then totally get outplayed in the second half. That's something that we usually don't do. Year after year we seem to come out in the second half and finish what we started. Give credit to Cincinnati. They played hard."
The Panthers were 0-for-10 from beyond the arc.
The Bearcats trailed by eight at the break, but began the second half on a 22-9 run to take control of the contest.
Kilpatrick had eight points during the surge and capped it with two free throws, which made it 48-43 in favor of Cincinnati midway through the second half. A bit later, the margin reached double digits following back-to-back David Nyarsuk buckets for a 55-45 Bearcats advantage with 7:20 left.
Lamar Patterson's tip-in pulled Pitt within 63-59 with 1:35 to play and Tray Woodall had a chance to make it a one-possession game on Pitt's next trip down the floor, but missed the front end of a one-and-one. Parker then committed a foul on Parker, who made two free throws for a five-point spread.
After Patterson misfired from beyond the arc, Parker split a pair from the stripe and made it 66-59 with 58 ticks left.
Cincy sunk five of its final six free throws to seal the outcome.
The contest was knotted at 26-26 before the Panthers closed the opening half on an 8-0 spurt to take a 34-26 edge into the locker room.
The Bearcats finished 41.2 percent (21-of-51) from the field and 18.8 percent (3-of-16) from three-point range ... Cincinnati committed 10 turnovers, while Pitt gave the ball away just eight times.
12/31 16:53:01 ET
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