Monday, March 8, 2010

Georgetown 74 Cincinnati 47

(AP/Nick Waas)

Cincinnati was hammered by Georgetown (20-9,10-8), and ended the regular season with 14 losses against 16 wins. UC finished the regular season 7-11 in the Big East, a step down from last year. UC finished up by losing 3 in a row, and 5 of 6. It has been a really horrible collapse. UC has a chance to go to the NCAA tournament if they win 5 games in 5 days in the Big East Tournament. Action tips off tomorrow at 9:30ish against Rutgers. Tip off time isn't set because the game won't start until 20 or 30 minutes after the previous game is finished. Before we get into the Big East Tournament preview (post coming later), let's relive the horrible second half that was the Georgetown game.

Cincinnati started things off well, as Lance Stephenson hit a jumper for the first bucket of the game. The teams played even going into the first media timeout, as the score was 9-9. There were buckets by Austin Freeman, a free throw by Ibrahima Thomas, a pull up j by Lance, a Greg Monroe lay up off an offensive rebound, a Jason Clark lay up off a Julian Vaughn offensive rebound, a Freeman 3, a Stephenson shot that rolled home, and Lance got to the rim, drew contact, and scored. He missed the free throw, and the teams continued the missing theme. The only bucket from the 13:53 to 11:59 mark was a Chris Wright triple. UC would get a 6-0 spurt to take the lead off a Ibrahima Thomas jumper, a Gates lay up, and a Thomas lay up. The Hoyas fired back with a 7-0 run to take a 19-15 lead after Jason Clark made a pair of free throws, and the great on this day, Austin Freeman made a 3 and a lay up. The rest of the half stayed pretty tight. An Ibby Thomas steal lead to a Steve Toyloy lay up. After Chris Wright nailed a pair of jump shots to run to the lead to 4, Rashad Bishop hit a pair of free throws. Greg Monroe hit a jump shot that was followed by back to back blown lay ups by Toyloy, who ducked as a defender jumped by and for some reason didn't dunk, and Lance Stephenson blew one off a Hoya turnover. Monroe scored with a lay up of his own though. Yancy Gates got involved by making a strong move to the basket for 2, before Chris Wright blew past Cashmere Wright for a lay up. Down 6 in the closing seconds, Cash drilled a 3 pointer to make the score at intermission 29-26 Hoyas.

I wasn't able to catch the halftime stats in full, but UC shot 11-30, 1 of 5 from 3. Georgetown shot 40%, and outrebounded UC 22-16. You can tell by the recap that Freeman, Monroe and Wright had a nice half for Georgetown, and Stephenson played well for the Bearcats. As did Ibrahima Thomas. His performance didn't translate on the box score, but he played hard, which is all we ask for.

Georgetown wasted no time in the second half showing UC that they were taking over. On the first possession, Jason Clark netted his only 3 of the contest. Lance Stephenson counted with a jumper for the Cats. In a sign of how this season has gone, Deonta Vaughn hit Rashad Bishop in the hands with a greater than half court pass that would have been sure points, but Bishop dropped it. Then, Bishop fouled Austin Freeman, who made both free throws. Yancy Gates scored inside with a foul, but UC committed a lane violation on his free throw. Adding to the frustration, Georgetown turned the ball over, but Ibrahima gave it right back with a travel. Thomas followed that up by getting called for fouls 3 and 4 in about 20 seconds at the 17:53 mark. The fourth was against Greg Monroe, who had scored. Monroe made the free throw. Down 37-30, Deonta Vaughn drew a foul and made both free throws for his only points. Deonta took 3 shots, not good enough. You are the senior leader, you have to show up buddy. Freeman continued his hot shooting by making a 3 pointer. UC got one of those back when Rashad Bishop blocked a Clark lay up, and Lance Stephenson fired an outlet pass to a cherry picking Yancy Gates who was fouled, and made 1. Gates returned that point however, as he fouled Greg Monroe, who made 1 of 2, and missed the first Hoya free throw, and got a double double with said made free throw. Lance Stephenson took us to the 15:53 under 16 media timeout with a lay up, and UC trailed 41-35. 

As you can tell by looking at the headline, this is where things went off the rails. Georgetown outscored UC 33-12 down the home stretch. In fact, it deserves it's own paragraph. Things got started when Chris Wright went hard to the rim, scored, was fouled, and made the free throw. The lead hit 11 after Monroe made a hook shot, after Rashad Bishop missed 2 free throws. Gates and Stephenson both turned the ball over, and Freeman made a lay up for point 17. Gates wanted Freeman to score more, so he threw a lazy crosscourt pass that Austin plucked, and was able to draw a foul on the breakaway attempt. That was Cincinnati's 7th turnover of the half, and we were only at the 11:18  mark. Freeman made both free throws out of the media break, and the lead was 15, 51-35. Lance Stephenson broke up that 10-0 run with a lay up, the Bearcats first bucket in 5 minutes. Georgetown got their 14th offensive rebound of the game the next trip, and re-established the 16 point lead when Monroe got an open lay up off a screen and roll. Ibrahima Thomas checked back in, and missed 2 free throws, leading to Monroe driving down the lane, getting reached in on by Cashmere Wright, and scoring. Monroe converted the free throw. Lance drove hard to the tin again and scored for UC, scoring 8 of the 13 UC points of the half so far. Chris Wright took Cash to the rim right after that, drew a foul on Gates, and scored. Wright missed the free throw, but it didn't matter. Hollis Thompson, who is 4 inches shorter than Ibrahima Thomas, blocked a Thomas shot, which lead to a run out and a ridiculous Freeman lay up for a 20 point lead, 59-39. Lance Stephenson traveled taking us in to the under 8 timeout, with the Hoyas on an 18-4 run from the 15:13 mark to 8:16, and a 30-13 run in the half. It wasn't over, because of the timeout, Freeman hit a 3 as the shot clock was winding down. It was the last of Freeman's 24. Stephenson made another lay up for the Bearcats, but Chris Wright made another for the Hoyas on a brilliant back cut and great pass from Monroe. Yancy Gates had another inept UC possession, where he threw a shot off the side of the backboard, got it back, and was blocked by Hollis Thompson, leading to a Clark lay up. Lance Stephenson tried to save a loose ball on the next UC possession, but threw it right to Wright, who passed up ahead to Monroe, who slammed it down. Hollis Thompson made a pair of free throws, and the score was 70-41 when I stopped watching to make this post. Since I'm diligent, I found how the last 11 points were scored. Jason Clark made a jumper, Rashad Bishop a lay up from Cash, Clark got a steal from Thomas, passed to Wright, who passed to Julian Vaughn for a lay up, Lance Stephenson made a 3 from Cash at the 2:23 mark, and with 22 seconds left, Cash made 1 of 2 at the stripe. 

Austin Freeman had a tremendous game back in his first outing since his diabetes diagnosis. Freeman had 24 points, Greg Monore 19-15, Chris Wright 16-4 assists, Jason Clark 11-5, Hollis Thompson 2-4-2 blocks, Julian Vaughn 2-5. Georgetown was 28-60 46.7%, 6-22 from deep, and 12-14 at the stripe, with 37 rebounds, 13 offensive, but maybe that's not right. Georgetown also had 15 assists. For Cincinnati, Lance Stephenson played very well yet again. Stephenson had 23-7, Yancy Gates 7-6 (yes that was the drop off), Ibrahima Thomas 5-4-4 steals-3 blocks, Cashmere Wright 4-3 assists, Rashad Bishop 4, Deonta Vaughn 2-4 assists, Steve Toyloy 2. UC shot 19-49 38.8%, 2-10, 7-17 horribly from the stripe, and had 26 rebounds, 10 offensive. UC also had 16 turnovers to 12 assists. 

After the game, Mick Cronin said something along the lines of that this team wasn't collapsing, they just had a lot of bad breaks. They were in the Nova game, they had WVU taken from them, Marquette was close, South Florida was blah blah blah. Mick just needs to buck up and say that UC lost. I'm tired of his excuses of, 'we haven't had this happened.' Oh really, what about the abysmal effort against USF? What about the domination by Syracuse? Just admit that your team wasn't as good as the other one for a change. There is no shame in saying that the other team played better. Just throw in that our team will play that well in the next game. Don't say 'it's not my fault.' Take some responsibility Mick. I like you, but you are really making it hard to sometimes. 

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