Newark, N.J. • If college basketball games were only 33 minutes long, then perhaps Seton Hall would have a better chance of competing against the nationally ranked teams or maybe even beating one.
It took about seven minutes to waste a chance to beat No. 24 Cincinnati, falling behind during a 29-5 run that spanned the halves the Bearcats scored 15 points in a row to start the second in a 65-59 loss Saturday.
"The last three minutes of the first half doomed us and the first four minutes of the second half doomed us," said Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard, who saw his team lose for the third straight time and seventh in eight tries in the Big East Conference.
"We're not coming out with enough energy in the second half," said Willard, who watched as his team went from being ahead 23-19 with 3 minutes, 58 seconds left in the first half to trailing 48-28 with 15:02 remaining in the game.
"We have to finish the first half strong, then come out strong," Willard said. "I have to say we're not getting it right now. We have a major issue with that."
The Pirates also realize that they have a problem.
"We have to dig deep and find some way somehow to get a win and turn this around," said Brandon Mobley, who came off the bench to tie Fuquan Edwin for team-high scoring honors with 16 points. "We have a great chunk of our season left. We have to do something to keep this from happening."
Sean Kilpatrick scored 21 points and Cashmere Wright added 17 as Cincinnati blew almost all of a 20-point lead before holding on for the Bearcats' fifth win in six games.
Cincinnati (18-4, 6-3 Big East) was up 48-28 just five minutes into the second half only to allow the Pirates (13-9, 2-7) to get within four points twice. The Bearcats, who entered the game 14th in the 15-team conference in free-throw shooting at 64.9 percent, finished 21 of 27 (77.8 percent) from the line, including making eight of their last nine in the game.