Lance Stephenson put up a career high 17 as the Bearcats won an ugly game against Miami. After a putrid 24 points in the first half, UC put up 39 in the second half to be better than Miami. That was really the difference in this one. The Bearcats had better players. Most of them were sleepwalking through this one, but they were still better. The sparse crowd coupled with typical Miami slow ball made this one, at times, boring to watch. That and the brick fest of the first half. Lance Stephenson carried the Cats with 10 in the first half, and at times seemed to be the only player wanting to score. He couldn't be stopped driving to the basket, but like nearly everyone else, the jump shot was off. The second half was the Cashmere Wright show, as he put in 11. He had 1 point the first half. Miami was lead by Kenny Hayes and his 19.
Let's focus on the offense. This is a bad jumpshooting team. The problem is that they fall in love with the jump shot. The best shooter, Deonta Vaughn, took 2 shots in this game. Miami took #5 out of the game completely. Vaughn didn't score. Stephenson and Wright were the only Cats in double digits. The team was 2-12 from 3, which is awful. Wright took 4, and made 1. Larry Davis made the other. The absolute biggest bugaboo this team has is free throw shooting. 62% on the year, and 65% against Miami. Missing from the stripe kept Miami in the game. Dion Dixon and Yancy Gates were both 4-6, and Steve Toyloy was 2-6. The sloppiness needs to be cleaned up. Miami is not a team that will turn you over much, and they turned over the Cats 13 times. Toyloy didn't play well and had 3 turnovers. Wilks had 2 in 15 minutes of action. Let's shape up boys.
Rebounding and defense were the highlights of this victory. 11 offensive rebounds for UC, with 3 a piece for Dixon and Stephenson. On defense, Gates blocked 4 shots. The Redhawks managed to hit 9 3s, but it took them 27 attempts to do so. Hayes and Nick Winbush combined to go 6-15 from deep, which is solid since they take most of Miami's shots. 8 of Miami's 28 rebounds were offensive, and I would like to see that number go down as we enter Big East play.
All in all, it wasn't very fun, but a win is a win. Can't complain too much about 6-1. We all know another fight is coming up on Sunday night.