Monday, February 1, 2010

Cincinnati 92 Providence 88


Cashmere Wright's career high 24 propelled the Bearcats to their second highest point total of the season, and win 14 (14-7 5-4), as the Cats outgunned the Providence Friars (12-9 4-5) 92-88. Cash's 24 were the 6th time a Bearcat scored 20 this season. It was also a UC season high, and UC high in any game against Providence. The Friars are known for not playing the best defense, and the Bearcats sure took advantage of that Saturday night, shooting 32-58 for a whooping 57%. The Bearcats also kept up the good 3 point shooting by going 8-18. Free throwing shooting was terrible, and it almost let the Friars back in the game. The Cats were 20-41. Awful. Rashad Bishop had 16-6 for Cincinnati, Lance Stephenson (9 rebounds) and Deonta Vaughn 12, and Darnell Wilks surprised with 10. Wright also had 4 boards, 5 assists and 3 steals. For PC, Sharaud Curry matched a career high with 27. Jamine Peterson had 19, Marshon Brooks 12, and Vincent Council put up 10-5-6 assists. The Bearcats kept serve at home, which is important as they head back on the road where they have struggled. Let's take a look at how the game played out.

Action started with the teams putting shots on each other's faces. Providence made 3 triples to start the game, before Cashmere Wright scored UC's first 7. Peterson would make another 3, and PC lead 16-12 4 minutes in. Providence would nail their first 6 from deep in a lights out start. Rashad Bishop scored 8 of his points early in keeping the Cats close. Lance Stephenson did not start, and didn't enter until the 14 minute mark. He must be having problems with the ankle. Providence would build a 6 point lead as we hit the under 12 timeout, 24-18. Darnell Wilks entered the game and had a scoring explosion. Well as far as Darnell Wilks goes. Wilks scored off a hook, a left hand lay up, and a monster dunk back (pictured here). Wilks had 4 points the last 5 games, and scored 6 in 1:21. Stephenson added some points around a Peterson jumper, and the Cats had tied the game. Something unseen this season occurred after Marshon Brooks made a Friars 3. Lance Stephenson hit a 3 pointer for Cincinnati. This is the first time IN HIS CAREER Lance has made 3s in back to back games. No joke. The teams would trade the lead for the rest of the half with fast paced action. Wright would hit Bishop to give UC it's first lead, and it's second after Cash hit a 3 of his own. PC answered with a Duke Mondy 3. Curry, Vaughn, Peterson, Stephenson and Bilal Dixon, Vaughn again, and Wright all scored as the half came to a close at 44 all. Providence shot 50% in everything the half. 17-34 8-16 2-4. Peterson lead the way with 14-3-2 blocks, Curry had 9, and Coucil had 4 boards, 3 assists. UC shot 17-33 5-11 5-8, lead by Wright's 13-3 assists-3 steals. Bishop had 10, Lance 7, and Wilks 6. One player who did nothing was Yancy Gates. There were lots of people who though Yancy would have a big day against PC, but he was invisible for the most part.

Cincinnati started the second half by jumping out to a 5 point lead. Ibrahima Thomas scored 2 of his 4, and Rashad Bishop hit from 3. Peterson hit a 3, and Vaughn followed with his only 3 for UC. The Friars scratched even with Peterson's last basket for the game, and 2 free throws by Curry. The Friars took a 3 point lead at 60-57 after a Council 3 and a steal and breakaway dunk on Darnell Wilks' head by Marshon Brooks. That would seem to fire the Bearcats up. Yancy Gates scored his first field goal on a putback dunk, and followed with a steal as Providence was bringing the ball up the court. PC would foul, and the score would be 60-59 at 11:57. After the break, Cash got to the rim, scored, and got fouled. He would miss the free throw, but Lance Stephenson would get the rebound and get fouled. He would miss both though. On the next trip for UC, Cash would miss a rare field goal attempt, but Bishop cleaned it up for a 3 point UC lead. Cash picked a Providence pocket and raced down the court for a dunk. Stephenson followed that with a lay up, and UC was on a 10-0 run. Peterson would miss 2 free throws, PC was 9-18 at the stripe all night, and Cash would hit a dagger 3 for a 10 point UC lead. The lead stayed 10 down to the 3:58 mark, with UC ahead 75-65. Providence would press, and UC took advantage. The Cats broke pressure for a Gates dunk off a nice pass from Wright, a Gates alley oop from near half court by Lance, and 2 Stephenson free throws for a 81-67 lead. The Cats would let the lead slip due to poor free throw shooting. Deonta Vaughn hadn't missed a free throw in Big East play, and the percentages caught up to him. Vaughn was 5-10 on the day. Cash was great from the field, but only 3-7 at the stripe. My best friend Dion Dixon entered the game with 2 minutes left and UC up 12, and continued the funk he was in during the Louisville game. Dixon committed a turnover, after Vaughn made 2 free throws, would miss 2 fts, and Curry hit a PC 3. Dixon would then throw away the inbound pass up 8, but PC couldn't capitalize. Vaughn hit 1 free throw. The Friars missed a shot on their next possession, and fouled Wright, who made both. Was an 88-77 lead with 39.7 left safe? No. Curry made a lay up, Jaquon Parker (who only played 9 minutes, had 6 points 3 rebounds) made both free throws. On the other end, PC got a traditional 3 point play by Brooks. Vaughn made 1 of 2, and Curry drilled a 3. Cash missed both foul shots, and Curry made another 3 to cut the lead to 3 with 6.6 left. Parker would add to the drama by missing his first free throw. But Parker iced the game with his second, and provided us with the final. 

All in all, it was a nice win. The defense seems to be going to hell, which is a very bad sign with offensive minded Notre Dame on Thursday. It was nice to win, despite nothing from Gates and Toyloy. Gates had 7-7, and Toyloy had 3 turnovers to 1 point, 1 rebound. The free throw shooting was horrendous. Bishop was 1-4, Wright 3-7, Vaughn 5-10, Stephenson 3-6, and Dixon 0-2. The offensive rebounding was gone as well, only 8. The Bearcats couldn't afford to lose this game, and winning it was nice. Let's hope Mick has the boys ready to make a run, because the going is getting tough from now on. 

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