Kilpatrick and Bearcats edge Seton Hall
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Sean Kilpatrick scored 21 points and hit a clutch three in the closing minutes to help 24th-ranked Cincinnati hold on for a 65-59 victory over Seton Hall at the Prudential Center.
Cashmere Wright added 17 points for the Bearcats (18-4, 6-3 Big East), who have won two straight and five of their last six. Kilpatrick hit five shots from beyond the arc and grabbed seven rebounds, helping Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin earn his 200th career victory.
Brandon Mobley and Fuquan Edwin each scored 16 points for Seton Hall (13-9, 2-7), which has lost three in a row and seven of its last eight.
Cincinnati carried a 33-28 lead to the intermission thanks to 12 points from Kilpatrick, who then connected on a pair of threes as part of a 15-0 run to start the second half. His second make from beyond the arc just five minutes into the period gave the Bearcats a seemingly comfortable 48-28 cushion.
The Pirates, though, clawed back with a 20-4 run. Edwin ignited it with a three, then added a layup and four free throws to help Seton Hall pull within 52-48 with 6:46 to play.
JaQuon Parker and David Nyarsuk each drained two from the line for Cincinnati to stem the tide, but Seton Hall again followed with a free throw and a triple from Mobley to cut it to 56-52.
The Pirates had a chance to trim the deficit further after a Cincinnati shot clock violation, but turned it over and Kilpatrick drilled a three from the corner with 1:57 remaining to end the Bearcats' string off 12 straight missed field goal tries.
Parker and Wright each hit two from the stripe in the final minute to extend the Cincinnati lead to 63-52, and Wright later added two more from the line to help seal it.
Wright made each of his seven free throw tries and Parker was 6-for-8, as the Bearcats finished 21-of-27 overall for the game. Cincinnati entered the contest as the second-worst free throw shooting team in the Big East at 64.9 percent.
Cincinnati trailed throughout much of a tight first half, as neither team led by more than four until the final minutes. The Bearcats ran off seven straight for a 26-23 edge, then closed the half with five in a row to take a 33-28 advantage to the break.
Cronin is 200-116 in 10 seasons as a head coach, including 131-92 in seven seasons with Cincinnati ... The Bearcats improved to 8-6 all-time against Seton Hall, but won on the road for first time in four tries against the Pirates ... Seton Hall fell to 0-4 this season against top-25 opponents ... Seton Hall celebrated the 20th anniversary of its 1992-93 team that won the Big East regular season title and tournament championship.