Second Half Rally Falls Short in 69-59 Loss at Cincinnati

Second Half Rally Falls Short in 69-59 Loss at Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Ohio (November 15, 2010)-Cincinnati held off a second half Mount St. Mary's rally to post a 69-59 win on Monday night at Fifth Third Arena. The Mount cut a 21-point second-half deficit to four with just under a minute remaining, but the Bearcats were able to hold on for the win by hitting 7-of-8 free throws in the final minute.

Trailing 46-25 with 15:40 remaining in the game, Mount St. Mary's used a 33-16 run to cut the deficit to four, but could not complete the comeback.

The Mount had whittled the lead to 60-52 with 1:21 left with Cincinnati in possession of the ball. On that possession, Shawn Atupem stole the ball on the press and converted a traditional three-point play to make the score 60-55. After a pair of Cincinnati free throws, freshman Julian Norfleet drained a three-point basket to cut the deficit to 62-58 with 59 seconds on the clock.

The Bearcats (1-0), however, made 7-of-8 from the line the rest of the way to close out the win.

"We started to take care of the ball a little bit better and started to compete a little bit harder. We also did an excellent job on the defensive end," said Mount St. Mary's head coach Robert Burke about the second-half run.

Atupem led the Mount with 14 points and seven boards while Danny Thompson added a career-best 11 points off the bench. Lamar Trice chipped in a career-best 10 points, five rebounds and three assists while Raven Barber (9 points), Josh Castellanos (8 points) and Norfleet (7 points) chipped in on the offensive end.

Sean Kilpatrick scored 21 points off the bench to lead Cincinnati while Yancy Gates added 15 points and 10 boards in the win.

The Mount committed just four turnovers in the second half after posting 16 in the opening half of play.

In the first half, Thompson slammed home a fast break dunk off a feed from Norfleet to cut Cincinnati's lead to 21-17 with 6:58 left in the first half. The Bearcats, however, rattled off a 19-to-4 run to close out the half for a 40-21 advantage.

The key to the first-half surge was the play of Kilpatrick, who scored 10 of his 13 first-half points over the final 6:55 of the half. Cincinnati scored 16 points off 16 Mount St. Mary's turnovers in the opening half.

Cincinnati shot 45.5 percent (15-of-33) from the field in the opening half while the Mount was held to 36.0 percent (9-of-25). Rebounds were even at 18 apiece in the half.

Mount St. Mary's returns to action on Saturday, November 20, when Savannah State visits Knott Arena for the home opener. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.

Game Notes: This was the first-ever meeting between the Mount and Cincinnati...The game was a matchup between the 1962 National Champions...Cincinnati won the Division I Championship that season while the Mount was the winner of the NCAA Division II title.

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