Monday, January 11, 2010

Seton Hall 83 Cincinnati 76

(Star Ledger/Noah Murray)

The Cincinnati Bearcats second trip to New Jersey didn't go as well as the first as the Seton Hall Pirates proved to be too much offense for the Cats. The loss drops UC to 11-5 and 2-2 in the Big East. The Pirates got their 1st Big East win of the season against 3 losses, and improve their record to 10-5. Both teams had scoring explosions from their stars. For Cincinnati, it was Deonta Vaughn pouring in 20. For Seton Hall, it was Jeremy Hazell who put in 33. Hazell was coming off an off night against UConn, but was back to his scoring ways tonight. He has torched the Big East going for 41 against West Virginia and 38 against Syracuse. He hasn't met a shot he didn't like, and when he is making them, Seton Hall is tough to beat. Let's take a look at how we got to where we ended.

The Bearcats started off hot. Deonta Vaughn would nail a couple of 3s and UC had 14 points in the first 3:30 of the game. Vaughn would hit another 3, and Seton Hall would take a time out. The Bearcats moved the ball around, getting looks for Lance Stephenson and Ibrahima Thomas on their way to a 24-14 lead. The Bearcats would grab nearly every rebound in this stretch as they didn't miss, and Seton Hall would be ice cold. The offense would not sustain the momentum. Seton Hall would cut the lead to 6 after Dion Dixon was pressured bringing the ball up the court, which lead to a Hazell alley oop to Ferrakhon Hall. The Bearcats would help the Pirates go on a run. Rashad Bishop played wild and shot a couple ill advised 3s and jumpers. Lance Stephenson proved he should never shoot 3s as he would miss from deep. The Pirates would jump all over this. Hazell had a traditional 3 point play and Jordan Theodore had a steal and dunk to power an 11-0 Seton Hall run. The Bearcats would fall behind after a couple of turnovers and a free throws by Hazell. Lance would quickly answer to make it 28-27 and break a 13-0 and 6 minute scoring drought. The offense wasn't done sucking, and neither was the defense. Born Ready would turn the ball over on back to back possessions  and Darnell Wilks committed an offensive foul as the offense stopped rotating the ball, and started standing around. The house came down and the picture above was taken after Deonta Vaughn had the Cats 4th possession without a shot by getting stripped. Eugene Harvey would throw up an alley oop to power the Hall to a 35-28 lead. Dion Dixon would take a wild jumper and Stephenson would turn the ball over again, this time leading to a Harvey lay up. Deonta Vaughn would end this 3 and a half minute offensive suppression by hitting a runner. Seton Hall would end the first half on a 25-4 run over 11:13. The Bearcats turned the ball over 12 times resulting in 15 Pirate points. Seton Hall turned it over once.

The second half was played very evenly, but not from the start. John Garcia would score half of his 8 to build an 11 point lead. Yancy Gates would answer for Cincinnati with 4 of his 14. A Hazell 3 would make the lead 14. UC would fall down 14 before a Lance Stephenson, Rashad Bishop and Cashmere Wright scored to cut the lead to 8. That's when the Jeremy Hazell show started. Hazell hit a deep 3 off an inbounds play. After Cashmere Wright broke a string of 8 UC misses from 3 by nailing one, Hazell would get a break away dunk off a wild Deonta Vaughn miss and long rebound. Hazell would nail a 3 off a screen and the lead would get to 12. Ibrahima Thomas would score the next 5 for UC with a traditional 3 point play on a strong move to the basket, and a lay up. The lead would go back to 9 with 10:47 left when Herb Pope would score and get fouled. He would miss the free throw. But, he started a Seton Hall run UC couldn't come back from. The Bearcats went to a 2-3 zone that the Pirates busted for a lay up, Garcia had a dunk and Jordan Theodore would take a rebound coast to coast for a lay up and a 68-53 Hall lead. The Cats would get it down to 10, but Hazell hit a couple of free throws to put it back to 12. The 16th Cat turnover lead to a Herb Pope lay up and a 71-57 deficit. The Bearcats wouldn't quit. Deonta Vaughn hit a 3, and Cashmere Wright hit Yancy Gates wide open under the basket with a no look pass and the lead was 9 with 4:16 left. With the shot clock running down, Hazell would hit a huge 3 over Gates' outstretched arm to make it a 12 point game again. Hazell was 7-10 the second half. UC would answer right back. Vaughn would hit yet another 3, and Wright would get a lay up to cut the lead to 5. Yancy Gates would get a steal on the next Pirate possession, but Cashmere Wright lost his dribble with 1:30 to go and that was a killer. Jeremy Hazell would make the last of his 33 points at the line to push it to 7. Deonta Vaughn hit his 6th 3 to cut it to 4, but that was as close as UC would get. Herb Pope hit his free throws and the Cats couldn't make another basket until Lance Stephenson got a dunk at the buzzer.

There were some things good and some things bad this game. The good.

  • Deonta Vaughn was a man out there with 20 points. Lance Stephenson had 15, and Yancy Gates had 14. The trio UC needs to score did just that. 
  • The Cats rebounded very well the first half, and not as well the second, but kept Seton Hall off the offensive glass. Only 4 offensive rebounds for the Pirates. UC had 11. 
  • Cashmere Wright was fantastic. In 15 minutes, he had 7 points and 5 assists. He helped UC cut the lead in the second half. He only turned the ball over once, but it was a costly one. 
  • The Bearcats shot 52.6% this game. They scorched the nets the second half. 
  • Ibrahima Thomas gave a solid 14 minutes and put up 10 and 5. 
The bad.

  • Seton Hall shot 24 free throws. UC is getting killed on penetration and fouling. The Pirates copied the Pittsburgh gameplan and used it very well today.
  • The anemic offense in the first half. This team stands around and hoists bad shots like it's going out of style. I don't know what was up with Rashad Bishop. He was out of control all night. 
  • The 3 point shooting. UC was 7-21. That's not so bad you might think to yourself. Deonta Vaughn was 6-11. Lance Stephenson is very good, but his outside shot sucks. He is 6-38!!!!! Rashad Bishop was 0-4 in this game. He is 12-38, 31%. Horrible.
  • Turnovers. The Cats stopped turning it over as much in the second half, but they turned it over more than enough in the first half. Seton Hall is a good team, and giving them the ball 8 times, and having them steal it 10 times is not good. Hazell had 4 steals, and Jordan Theodore 2. Stephenson turned the ball over 6 times, 4 for Vaughn and 2 a piece for Darnell Wilks and Dion Dixon.
  • Interior defense. Seton Hall had 38 or 40 points in the paint. UConn and Pittsburgh also rushed the paint. The UC defense has been overall solid this year, but the Big East is going to pound it inside. Step it up men.
We knew this was going to be a tough game. In fact, it was the first one that the Bearcats Blog picked the opposition. We can't let this setback get us down, because the Big East is a monster and you can't win every one. This team put out a good effort after being down, and even though they didn't win, they didn't quit. Let's hope they are ready to go Wednesday as the Lance Stephenson New York homecoming continues with a game against St. John's. As for this one, I think this picture says it all.


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