The Tigers cooperated nicely with the Senior Day script tonight at Cincinnati. Departing Bearcats Sean Kilpatrick (34 points), Titus Rubles (24), and Justin Jackson (13) dominated from the opening tip to lead 15th-ranked Cincinnati to a second easy win over the 20th-ranked Tigers. Memphis fell behind 18-4 over the game's first eight minutes, climbed back steadily — pulling within one (43-42) four minutes into the second half — but then yielded a 24-9 Bearcat tear over an eight-minute stretch of the second half that decided the contest.
Having lost to the Bearcats by 16 at home on January 4th, the Tigers must now ponder the prospect of a third meeting next week when FedExForum hosts the American Athletic Conference Tournament. Cincinnati moves into a tie with Louisville atop the AAC with a record of 14-3, while the Tigers (22-8 overall) fall to 11-6 in league play.
Freshman forward Austin Nichols played a stellar game for Memphis, hitting seven of 12 shots for 17 points. Senior guard Joe Jackson led the Tigers with 21 points, though most came after the game had been decided midway through the second half.
The Tigers shot 47 percent for the game while Cincinnati hit 53 percent and scored its most points of the season against teams not named Chicago State. The win ends a two-game losing streak for the Bearcats.
The Tigers return to FedExForum for their own Senior Day Saturday when 18th-ranked SMU comes to town. The game will be the ninth this season for Memphis against a ranked opponent, tying a program record set in the 2004-05 season. Tip-off is scheduled for 11 a.m.