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Seventh-ranked Bearcats battle Mustangs in AAC action

Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The seventh-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats head to the Lone Star State this weekend for an American Athletic Conference showdown with the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum.

The Bearcats sit all alone atop the AAC standings with perfect 11-0 league ledger. The team's flawless run in conference play is part of a larger 15-game win streak, that continued this week at home in a come-from-behind win over nationally-ranked Connecticut (63-58). The 22-2 overall record is the team's best start under Mick Cronin as well as its best mark since going 26-2 to open the 2001-02 campaign.

Larry Brown was brought in to turn things around at SMU and the Mustangs have responded, including an 18-5 overall mark this year. League play has been a successful venture as well, with SMU having won its last two games to move to 7-3 in the AAC. The team improved to a perfect 12-0 at home with Thursday's 75-52 rout of Temple.

Cincinnati has won three of the four all-time meetings between these programs and seeks the regular-season sweep after recording a 65-57 win on New Year's Day.

It was certainly an impressive performance by All-American candidate Sean Kilpatrick, as he erupted for 26 points, while grabbing a career-high 12 rebounds and doling out six assists in leading the Bearcats past the Huskies this week. Justin Jackson continued his strong play in the frontcourt as well, posting 15 points, six rebounds and two blocks in the win.

Kilpatrick and Jackson have been the driving forces for Cincinnati all season long. Kilpatrick leads the conference in scoring at 19.7 ppg, due in large part to his team-best 64 3-pointers and a stellar .860 efficiency from the free-throw line (123-of-143). Jackson has evolved into one of the league's best interior players as the 6-foot-8 senior averages 11.4 ppg on .567 shooting, with 7.0 rpg and an AAC-best 3.25 bpg. Both players contribute at the defensive end, where Cincinnati ranks among the nation's best in scoring defense (56.8 ppg) and field-goal percentage defense (.386).

The Mustangs don't put up gaudy scoring totals, but they are an efficient bunch, shooting an impressive .494 from the field overall. The team also enjoys a rather larger rebounding margin (+7.3) and holds foes to just 61.3 ppg on well under 40 percent shooting (.368). Sophomore guard Nic Moore headlines the offensive attack for SMU with 13.7 ppg, thanks to his accuracy from long range (47-of-103, .456). Sophomore forward Markus Kennedy provides balance up front with 12.2 points and a team-high 7.4 rebounds per game.

SMU shot a scorching .544 from the floor and held the visiting Owls to a mere .303 effort in the 23-point romp on Thursday. Kennedy just missed a double- double with 14 points and nine rebounds. Shawn Williams added 14 points of his own, while Moore and Keith Frazier added 11 points apiece. SMU forced Temple into 15 turnovers, converting them into 16 points, while controlling the paint with a 40-22 advantage in points down low.

02/08 10:07:37 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
2nd
SFG 1
KAN 0
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
 
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
 
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
 
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
 
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
 
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
 
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
 
3rd
WASU 16
ARZ 45
 
Half
CLEM 3
SYR 6
 
3rd
LAMON 13
TXST 0
 
3rd
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 17
 
Half
COLST 24
WYO 3
 
2nd
LSU 0
MISS 7
 
2nd
TENN 0
ALA 27
 
2nd
AUB 14
SCAR 21
 
1st
PSU 0
OSU 7
 
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
2nd
TOR 0
BOS 1
 
2nd Intermission
NYI 4
DAL 4
 
2nd Intermission
PHI 1
DET 1
 
2nd
OTT 1
NJD 1
 
2nd
MON 2
NYR 1
 
1st
STL 1
CHI 1
 
1st Intermission
NAS 0
PIT 1
 
1st Intermission
MIN 4
TAM 1
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14