Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Memorable Bearcat Games: Arizona 79 Cincinnati 76

This Memorable Bearcat game is quite painful. I remember this big Cincinnati v. Arizona clash being on a Sunday afternoon. My best friend and I were working on a huge project for school that was probably due the next day. For the life of me I can't remember what it was about. I do remember that it took all fucking day and it was boring as shit. Arizona came into the game rocking a 17-4 record, and Cincinnati an 18-1 mark. The Bearcats had been dominating since their 1 point loss to UAB, winning every game by at least 10 points. Arizona  was starting to get the ship right after some early Pac 10 struggles. Both teams had big time NBA talent. Cincinnati had Danny Fortson, Arizona Jason Terry (who didn't play) and Michael Dickerson. Both teams made runs deep into the tournament. Arizona went to the Sweet 16 where they lost to Kansas, and Cincinnati went to the Elite 8, where they lost to Mississippi State. 

The first half was a barn burner. The Wildcats played without standout center Ben Davis, who was in foul trouble, but that didn't stop them from putting 41 on the mighty Bearcat defense. The Bearcats hung in there, scoring 38. Cincinnati pounded Arizona on the glass, 26-16 in the half. The Bearcats won the rebounding 46-32, but Arizona must have gotten some rebounds in the second half that were huge, because Lute said "We got got killed on the boards, but as soon as Ben came back in the game the second half, he gave us strong rebounding." Davis had 6 rebounds, so that's kinda a weird thing to say. I'm going to go ahead and guess that Damon Flint had a huge first half, because he had 16 points. The highlight of the first half would have to have been when guard Reggie Geary got a steal and bent the rim on a breakaway dunk.

The second half saw Cincinnati dominate. Darnell Burton scored 9 of his 12 points in a big Cincinnati run that put the Bearcats up 68-59 with under 6 minutes left. Arizona would make a run. Obviously you knew they would make a run because hello, the score is in the title. Spoiler alert much. Michael Dickerson scored on a put back to cut the lead. Next trip, Geary drilled a wide open lead to cut the lead to 2 with 4 minutes left. Cincinnati was able to push the lead back out to 4. I'm guessing they got the ball to Fortson. I have no idea because no one says how Cincinnati scored, and all the youtube videos are of Arizona points. The score was 73-69 with 2:20 left in favor of the Bearcats. Dickerson got the ball after a pass inside to Davis, and knocked down a trey. On UC's next possession, Keith Gregor tried to get the ball inside to Fortson. The only problem was that Gregor was being trapped, and Danny was surrounded by 7 Wildcats. The bad pass turned into a breakaway lay up attempt by Simon that was blocked by I think Monroe, but Davis got the put back for the lead. Cincinnati took the lead on a 3 pointer. Or a 3 point play. Let's say it was Flint, since he made the most 3s in the the game. The Bearcats forced Arizona into a wild, tough shot by Dickerson. Dickerson fell on the floor. It appears UC tried to slap the rebound out of bounds, but the ball went right to Dickerson, who threw it back out top. Simon drove, found Davis on the wing, and he splashed one home in Fortson's face for the tie. UC raced the ball up the court. Keith LeGree drove to the rim and had his shot blocked by Davis out of bounds with 3 seconds left. It could have been a charge, but there was no call. LeGree for some reason tried to bounce pass the inbound to Fortson. The ball was tipped. Fortson couldn't bring it in. Simon wrangled the ball, took a dribble and threw one in from 65 feet for the win. It was terrible. There was a smashed chalkboard in the UC locker room, and a smashed face for my friend who said the shot was awesome.

Unbelievably, it's hard to find information about a random February basketball game from 1996. You would think that it would be incredibly easy. But no, it's not. The AP didn't bother to say how UC scored to take the lead at the end of the game for crying out loud. Sadly, there is video of the shot that sucked. It's video of Arizona's run the last few minutes, making it even worse. View it if you want to punch something.

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