Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats guard Sean Kilpatrick (23) brings the ball down court in the first half against the Houston Cougars at FifthThird Arena. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
CINCINNATI — University of Cincinnati guard Sean Kilpatrick joined the legendary Oscar Robertson Saturday as the only Cincinnati players to score 2,000 career points.
Kilpatrick reached the milestone with 15:16 left in Saturday’s game vs. Louisville on a driving layup. He was also fouled but missed the ensuing free throw.
He scored on the next possession, too, and received a standing ovation when the feat was formally announced at the following media timeout. Robertson was seated courtside.
Kilpatrick came into the game with 1,990 career points. He hit 2,000 during a stretch of 13 straight points he scored for the Bearcats, who rallied behind 22 second-half points by Kirkpatrick but lost the game on a late Russ Smith jumper, 58-57.
Kirkpatrick finished with 28 points and 6 rebounds, his second 28-point game vs. Louisville this season. He’s scored at least 23 points in five straight and eight of Cincinnati’s last nine games.
Asked after the game for comment on Kilpatrick’s achievement, Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said the time for reflection will come later.
"I think he’s one of the best three players in college basketball," Cronin said. "I say the same thing every day."
Kilpatrick, like his head coach, was in no mood to reflect after Cincinnati lost for just the fourth time all season. Smith — like Kilpatrick a New York native — said he’s seen a different side to his longtime rival this season.
"This year I feel like Sean is like, ‘You know what? I’m just going to murder everybody,’" Smith said.
Entering Saturday’s games, Kilpatrick ranked 18th nationally and first in the American Athletic Conference at 20.2 points per game. He ranks among the top 10 active players nationally in career scoring and career 3-pointers made.
A native of Yonkers, N.Y., Kilpatrick played last summer for Team USA in the World University Games. He’s among the candidates for the Wooden and Naismith awards given to college basketball’s best at season’s end.