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Cincinnati tops Bellarmine in exhibition finale, 84-72

Updated: Saturday, November 2 2013, 08:06 PM EDT

CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- The University of Cincinnati men’s basketball team, led by 24 points from senior Sean Kilpatrick (Yonkers, N.Y./Notre Dame Prep), closed out the exhibition season with an 84-72 win over Bellarmine, Saturday inside Fifth Third Arena.

The Bearcats ran their exhibition winning streak to 36 games, dating back to 1995. UC went 2-0 in exhibition play after knocking off Carleton 77-63 a week ago. Cincinnati opens the 2013-14 campaign against North Carolina Central on Friday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. in Fifth Third Arena.

Kilpatrick scored 43 points in UC’s two exhibition contests, tallying the game high in points on both occasions. He was 7-for-10 from the field Saturday, dropping in a pair of threes, going 8-for-8 from the free throw line, snagging two steals and dishing out a pair of assists.

Justin Jackson (Cocoa Beach, Fla./Arlington Country Day) just missed a double-double, tallying 19 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots. Jackson scored 33 points, pulled down 16 rebounds and blocked eight shots over the two exhibition contests.

Titus Rubles (Dallas, Texas/Blinn College) finished with 13 points and true freshman Jermaine Lawrence (Springfield Gardens, N.Y./Pope John XXIII) found double figures with 10 points.

Leading 37-36 at the break, UC used a 15-0 run over 4:37 early in the second half to jump out to a 52-41 lead with 13:11 remaining in the game.

The Bearcats would not relinquish the lead, pushing the margin to 17, 67-50 with 6:54 remaining, coming home with a 12-point win.

UC did most of its damage inside, holding a 48-20 advantage on points in the paint and turning 14 offensive rebounds into 12 second-chance points. The Bearcats also used some opportunistic defense to convert 18 Bellarmine turnovers into 25 points.

Bellarmine's Keisten Jones led four Knights in double figures with 20 points. George Suggs drained four triples and added 15 points, Tanner Gibson had 11 and Jake Thelen finished with 10.

Cincinnati survived an onslaught of three-point shooting by the visitors to lead 37-36 at the break.

Bellarmine fired at a 9-for-19 clip (.474) behind the arc in the opening 20 minutes, leading as many as eight, 15-7, with 14:25 left in the half.

UC stayed the course and used a 24-15 run over a 10-minute stretch, capped by a pair of free throws from Lawrence to take its first lead of the game, 31-30 with 3:31 remaining in the half.

Kilpatrick and Jackson both hit double figures in the first half, scoring 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Information provided by University of Cincinnati Athletics

Cincinnati tops Bellarmine in exhibition finale, 84-72


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