No. 13 Cincinnati downs Cards

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Sean Kilpatrick has been Cincinnati's driving force all season, thanks largely to being almost automatic from the foul line.

But even he had to step back and savor a big game keyed by 11-of-11 free-throw shooting that helped the No. 13 Bearcats overcome No. 12 Louisville and remain atop the American Athletic Conference.

Kilpatrick scored 28 points, including six free throws down the stretch that rallied Cincinnati for a 69-66 victory over the Cardinals on Thursday night.

"I've just worked on my free throws throughout the year, just really trying to continue to keep getting better," said the senior guard, who entered the game 101 of 119 from the line (84 percent). "That's something I harp on the most. Just working like I have nothing left in me.

Unfazed despite blowing a 17-point lead in the second half, the first-place Bearcats (20-2, 9-0 American Athletic Conference) regrouped to hold the Cardinals to just two free throws in the final 5 minutes to win the conference showdown with a big hand from Kilpatrick.

Down 64-61, the AAC's leading scorer (19.1 points per game) made two from the line before Justin Jackson's tip-in gave Cincinnati the lead for good with 1:41 left. After Russ Smith's missed layup and Montrezl Harrell's turnover, Kilpatrick closed with four more free throws in the final 9 seconds to cap the Bearcats' 13th straight win that put them 2 1/2 games ahead of Louisville (17-4, 6-2) and Memphis.

All of Kilpatrick's late free throws were big in providing a cushion that offset Terry Rozier's two from the line that brought Louisville within a point with 7 seconds left and left the Cardinals' Luke Hancock with a 3-point attempt in the final seconds that missed.

Jackson, questionable for the game with an ankle injury, started and finished with 11 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 37 minutes. Shaquille Thomas added 11 points and Titus Rubles eight with rebounds for the Bearcats, who shot 63 percent in the second half and 49 percent overall (23 of 47).

"You can't understand the fortitude of Titus, Justin and (Kilpatrick)," Cincinnati coach Mike Cronin said. "I know what those guys are made of. That's why we have the record we have."

Top 25

No. 3 FLORIDA 62, MISSISSIPPI STATE 51

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Casey Prather scored 16 points, Patric Young added 12 and No. 3 Florida beat Mississippi State 62-51 Thursday night for its 12th straight win.

The Gators (18-2, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) had a slow start on offense, but made up for it with suffocating defense. It was the 12th time this season Florida held an opponent to 60 points or fewer.

Mississippi State (13-7, 3-4) lost for the first time at home during conference play. The Bulldogs have lost four straight to the Gators.

NO. 10 MICHIGAN 75,

PURDUE 66

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Caris LeVert had 14 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for his first career double-double, and Michigan beat Purdue to extend its winning streak to 10.

Nik Stauskas scored 16 points and Derrick Walton added 14 for the Big Ten leaders. The Wolverines (16-4, 8-0) shot 61 percent from the field against a Purdue team that had held its previous five opponents under 42.

The Boilermakers (13-8, 3-5) were led by A.J. Hammons, who had 16 points and eight rebounds.

BIG TEN

NEBRASKA 60, INDIANA 55

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Terran Petteway scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half, and Nebraska came back from a 16-point deficit to defeat Indiana 60-55 on Thursday night.

The Cornhuskers (11-9, 3-5 Big Ten) won for the third time in four games and back-to-back conference games for the first time in their three years in the Big Ten.

Ohio Colleges

MILWAUKEE 68,

WRIGHT STATE 64

Jordan Aaron and Kyle Kelm each scored 13 points Thursday night and Milwaukee held off surging Wright State 68-64 at Milwaukee.

Milwaukee (14-9, 4-5 Horizon) led 38-23 at halftime, but Wright State closed to within two points with 12 seconds to play.

Steve McWhorter and Malcom Moore scored 12 apiece and the Panthers outshot Wright State (13-11, 5-4) 48.9 percent to 41.1 percent.

OTHER

IPFW 86,

NEBRASKA-OMAHA 82

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Joe Reed scored 20 points as Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne topped Nebraska-Omaha 86-82 on Thursday.

IPFW (17-6, 5-1 Summit) shot 52 percent, including 9 of 22 on 3-point attempts. Mo Evans had 15 points, Joe Edwards added 13 and Steve Forbes scored 11.

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