CINCINNATI -- Redshirt freshman Sean Kilpatrick scored 21 points in his first career start and the Cincinnati Bearcats extended their best start in seven seasons with a 94-58 win over St. Francis (Pa.) on Thursday.
Yancy Gates and Larry Davis came off the bench to score 18 points each as Cincinnati extended its season-opening win streak to 12 games before a crowd of 5,504, its second-largest at its on-campus home this season. The last time the Bearcats were 12-0 was the 2003-04 season, when they won their first 13 games.Cincinnati enjoyed its second-largest win of the season in its final game before opening Big East play with a home game Tuesday against DePaul. The Bearcats beat Georgia Southern by 45 points on Dec. 14.Chris Johnson scored 13 points and Will Felder and Umar Shannon each added 12 to lead St. Francis (2-10). The Northeast Conference team will take an eight-game losing streak into its game at North Carolina on Jan. 2.Cincinnati's largest crowd at its on-campus home -- 13,176-seat Fifth Third Bank Arena -- was 5,871 against Wright State on Dec. 1.The Bearcats drew 6,016 for a game against defending NIT-champion Dayton on a neutral court at U.S. Bank Arena in downtown Cincinnati on Nov. 27.Cincinnati sophomore guard Cashmere Wright left the game with an apparent left shoulder injury with 10:37 left in the first half. He returned to the bench, but not to the court, and he was scheduled to be reevaluated after the game.Cincinnati's starting lineup included four players -- guards Kilpatrick and Larry Davis and JaQuon Parker and center Anthony McClain -- making their first start of the season, while senior forward Darnell Wilkes had started once. They opened up a 13-6 lead before the normal starters entered with 14:13 left in the first half and immediately produced a turnover and Dion Dixon's 17-foot jumper, sparking a 15-2 run that left the Bearcats leading 28-8 with 10:44 left in the half.