Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cincinnati 87 Cal State Bakersfield 58


The Cincinnati Bearcats got off to the best start in Mick Cronin's UC career and Deonta Vaughn tied for 7th on UC's all time scoring list as the Bearcats hammered the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners 87-58. Cal State Bakersfield is making the transition from Division II, and this was part of the lumps taking process. The Bearcats got on them often and early, and to their credit, the Roadrunners played hard. Especially in the second half, as they outscored UC 42-37.  For the Roadrunners Trent Blakley had 17, and Sawnton Latunde had 14 and 9 rebounds. Kudos to them for playing hard, even though they didn't have the talent to compete tonight.

The game started off with the Roadrunners, I love saying Roadrunners, taking an early 4-3 lead. Unfortunately for them, they couldn't stall and the rest of the game had to be played. In his 104th start, Deonta Vaughn scored the Cats first 3, and added in a lay up. The Bearcats made quick substitutions, as starters Rashad Bishop, Yancy Gates and Ibrahima Thomas left, and Steve Toyloy, Biggie McClain and Dion Dixon entered.  Dion Dixon scored 5 quick, and Biggie had 6 as the Bearcats pulled away from an 10-6 lead. Dixon and McClain would score 13 of the Cats first 23 as a 13-0 run made the score 23-6. Donavan Bragg would have a break away dunk that would be Bakerfield's only highlight of the first half. UC got a little sloppy, and turned the ball over 6 times. With the score 23-11, UC would run again. Cashmere Wright and Rashad Bishop helped put the score to 30-11. CSB turned the ball over 7 times in a row and looked lost. Steve Toyloy and Ibrahima Thomas would get a couple of And 1's and jumpers and the lead was 44-14. Thomas got his And 1 after a jump pass by Lance Stephenson, who scored early, but ended up with 4. Deonta Vaughn would score his 9th and last point, and tie Lewis Banks for 7th all time in UC scoring. Vaughn is 22 away from Ron Bonham. Jaquan Parker got his first action of the new year, and first since Winthrop, and would make a first half 3. Biggie McClain lead the Cats with 8 points and 6 rebounds for the half, and UC lead 50-16. CSB shot 23%. The Bearcats shot 51%, had 19 second chance points and 12 offensive rebounds.

The second half was played by the bench. Biggie McClain would aggravate his foot injury and only play 3 minutes of the half, finishing with 8-8. UC would start off slow giving up a 16-6 run. Lance Stephenson made a jumper, and had the assist of the game with a spinning drive in the lane and a flip to Yancy Gates. Stephenson had 3 assists to go with his 4 points and 6 rebounds. Gates had 2-2 and a steal. The half would see Jaquan Parker knock down a couple of 3s. He might have the best stroke on the team. He would have 9. Larry Davis added 5. Darnell Wilks had 8 for the game, 6 of them on dunks as seen in the picture. I swear, 80% of his baskets are dunks. Ibrahima Thomas scored a basket or 2, and tied his UC high with 11. Dion Dixon would knock down a couple of 3 pointers. Dixon would also hot dog a breakaway dunk, doing a double pump reverse out of the Dominque Wilkins handbook, and miss much to the dismay of the crowd. The question on everyone's mind near the end was would Alex Eppensteiner score? The answer was no. Eppy missed a 3 badly, and missed a couple of free throws.

Overall, there is not much to complain about. Mick said after the game the Cats need to work on their D. With Seton Hall coming up, that's correct. The offense gets clunkly at times. Larry Davis still has the annoying habit of rushing 3s. Turnovers were a little problem. But, it was all good. The bench players got a lot of minutes and that should help. Especially in the case of Cashmere Wright. Mick said Cash needed to be a leader on the floor, and tonight was good practice. Everyone scored but Eppy. Dixon had 13, Thomas as 11, Vaughn and Parker 9, Wilks and McClain had 8, Toyloy 7, Wright 6, Bishop and Davis 5, Lance 4 and Yancy 2. Rebounding was spread out too. McClain 8, Stephenson, Toyloy and Wilks had 6. Wright and Dixon had 4 assists, with Lance chipping in 3. Overall a good game. We get back to the Big East grind Saturday night.

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