With Xavier Brawl Behind Them the Cincinnati Bearcats Still Need to Be Concerned

Tony Tribble-USA TODAY Sports

 

Sean Kilpatrick’s performance put to rest whatever memories remained from last season’s ugly incident between the Cincinnati Bearcats and Xavier Musketeers.

Kilpatrick led the way for Cincinnati’s 60-45 victory over Xavier improving the undefeated Bearcats’ record to 11-0. After the game received plenty of pre-game attention for all the wrong reasons, both teams can now look to move forward putting last year’s ugly brawl behind them.

The junior nearly outscored Xavier’s entire roster in the second half with 18 points on his own compared to the team total of 21 for the Musketeers. Kilpatrick finished with 25 points, eight rebounds and four steals as he continues to carry the offensive load for the Bearcats.

Cashmere Wright continues to the play of role of Robin to Kilpatrick’s Batman for Cincinnati as he delivered 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Wright now moves within 10 assists shy of tying basketball legend Oscar Robertson for fourth all-time on Cincinnati’s assists leaders list.

The guard tandem of Kilpatrick and Wright has carried the Bearcats to their unbeaten record to begin the season. The duo has combined to total 46% of the team’s total points scored this season. However, if the team can’t find consistent offensive production from the rest of their roster then Cincinnati is going to run into trouble once conference play begins.

Kilpatrick attempted 28 of the team’s 65 field goal attempts against Xavier, while Wright had 11. 60% of the team’s shots can’t come from two players if Cincinnati wants to have any success in their league schedule. Not to mention, the guards combined to make 15 of the team’s 21 made field goals and 10 of their 13 made free throws.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Bearcats’ closest win of the year came when the two guards also posted their lowest scoring totals of the season. In the team’s 58-56 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide, Kilpatrick had 13 while Wright finished with 8, both numbers resulting in nearly half of their respective season scoring averages.

Given the tough defenses and even tougher competition the team will have to face in the Big East, all it will take is one bad night from the guards for Cincinnati to suffer an embarrassing defeat.

Michael covers ACC and Big East basketball along with the Toronto Raptors for Rant Sports, you can follow him on Twitter @MichaelxRoberts

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