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Cincinnati knocks off No. 17 Louisville

Feb 24, 2012 - 6:21 AM Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - The pressure of the bubble didn't stop Cashmere Wright.

Wright drained six treys and scored 22 points in all, as Cincinnati earned a key 60-56 victory over No. 17 Louisville on Thursday night.

"Before the game coach (Mick Cronin) told us, 'There is no offense, just play,'" Wright said. "I felt that that was a very comfortable situation for me. Not worrying about mistakes, just going out there and playing."

Sean Kilpatrick tallied 12 points, Dion Dixon added 11 and Yancy Gates posted 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Bearcats (20-8, 10-5 Big East), who won their second straight over a possible NCAA tournament team and strengthened their at-large case heading into the regular season's final week.

Peyton Siva led Louisville (21-7, 9-6) with 14 points, while Gorgui Dieng recorded 11 points, 12 rebounds and four steals for the Cardinals, who were done in by a 1-of-14 effort from long distance. There wasn't a bigger culprit than Kyle Kuric, who missed all 11 of his shots, including seven from beyond the arc.

"Every player goes through one of those nights where nothing will fall," Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said of Kuric's struggles.

Wright made four three-pointers in the opening 10 minutes, singlehandedly keeping the Bearcats in front. His third and fourth treys handed the home team a 22-18 lead, and Kilpatrick's triple a little over five minutes later opened a 29-22 edge. The lead grew to as many as eight before the Cardinals made a late half charge, narrowing the deficit to 32-30 despite eight Cincinnati three-pointers.

Louisville finally claimed the lead at 36-35 thanks to Russ Smith's layup and it grew to as many as six points before the Bearcats clawed back. The big stretch was a 14-0 burst that turned a deficit into a 53-45 lead. Kilpatrick's trey capped the run with just under seven minutes to go.

Louisville cut the deficit to three at 56-53 on Siva's jumper with 1:17 to go, and his layup again made it a one-possession game with 55 ticks on the clock. However, the point guard missed a jumper on the next trip and Kuric missed an open three from the right wing with 22 seconds to go. Cincinnati made enough foul shots down the stretch to come out on top.

Game Notes

Cincinnati made 11 three-pointers, outscoring the Cardinals by 30 points from long range...Chane Behanan and Smith each netted 11 points in the loss...Louisville still leads the all-time series, 53-42...Kuric came into the contest averaging 13.3 points per game.