Cincinnati opens Big East play with win over Pitt
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.
Talib Zanna tallied 16 points and five rebounds to lead Pittsburgh (12-2, 0-1), which had its eight-game winning streak snapped.
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 15:07:54 ET