Originally posted on Bearcats Blog  |  Last updated 3/1/12

Man oh man did the Cincinnati Bearcats put a bow on the (hopefully) last home game of the season last night. The score might have read 72-61 but the game was not that close. The Bearcats took the lead 7-6 a little over 2 minutes into the game and never relented it again. It wasn't going to happen last night. Marquette is a damn good team, but they kind of mailed it in last night. Cincinnati punched them in the face to take a 10 point lead, and when Marquette started to come back a little, the Bearcats put the foot on the throat. After JaQuon Parker's 5 point spurt to open the second half, it was over. The Eagles tapped out. This wasn't a game they were going to win. The Bearcats weren't going to lose. I think it was the win that should put them in the tournament and they are playing for seeding, but let's worry about that after Villanova. For now, let's talk about last night. 

The crowd last night was electric. There were were 11,316 there, not a sellout, but I'll be dammed if they weren't 11,316 of the loudest people in Cincinnati. From the pregame they were ready to go. When the Bearcats started stepping up their game, the crowd took them higher. I hadn't been to a UC game with that atmosphere in ages. I'm sure Justin Jackson gets his blocks, JaQuon gets his points, and Yancy does a #GatesDunk, but it really felt like the crowd was a shot of adrenaline the players needed. The place had life last night. You could tell it meant a lot to the players, especially Gates. It was great. 

Three moments stand out from a noise standpoint. 1 was the amazing Justin Jackson block where he came out of ******* nowhere to block someone. You know what one I'm talking about. People love blocks. The second was the Dion Dixon cherry pick dunk. I don't know how well you could see it on tv, but when Dixon started leaking up the floor, there was a buzz. When he dunked, the roof came off. Buzz Williams called a timeout right after that and the place was loud as hell for a full minute. It gave me chill bumps. The last was when Cash, Dixon and Gates, all members of the 2008 recruiting class, hugged at midcourt when Parker was fouled late. That also gave me chill bumps. 

I wouldn't have been at the game if it weren't for the fine folks at UC, especially Jeremy Martin. He set me up with a credential. He got me connected to the internet when my computer was blocking the network. Yes, I am a blogger who doesn't know anything about computers. I didn't know they made people like me anymore either. After the game, he tracked me down and asked how it was. That's above and beyond. I hope I get the chance to do something like this again. I loved it. Although I totally pussed out and didn't ask questions in the presser or talk to the man Paul Dehner. He put in earbuds and I got freaked out that he would big time me. Massive self doubt, there is that blogger in me coming out. Once again, thanks to Jeremy and everyone else who let me pretend I was part of the media for one day. 

The defense by the Bearcats last night was great. You didn't need to see the stats for that. Cincinnati kept them out of transition, 5 points, which was a huge part of the first game where Marquette had 31. Marquette scored 28 less points than the first meeting. Huge difference. The Eagles couldn't handle the active UC zone. They forced a lot of passes. They got out of sorts. UC forced them into tough jump shots. The Eagles fell into the 3 point trap. They shot something like 5 in the last 20 seconds, but UC got them to settle. The open looks didn't fall. Marquette got frustrated. It was the second lowest points per possession Marquette has had this season. Both were losses. That's the kind of defense Cincinnati played.

It seemed like the only offense Marquette could muster were off offensive rebounds. They got 15 of those and 18 second chance points. Ordinarily I would not be pleased with this, but when Vander Blue is grabbing every rebound in sight, eh. Also, I really like Vander Blue. He's gonna be a player. The Bearcats got the rebounds that mattered. 

Offensively it was a weird game. Cincinnati shot the ball incredibly awful. Cash was short on his shot all night. Kilpatrick didn't have the rhythm. Dixon took way too many 3s. Subtract the 3s though, and Cincinnati shot 55% on their 2s. If you take out the 2-8 from Gates and the 0-2 from Cash, everyone else was 21-32 from 2. That's 66%. Add that with 14-18 at the foul line and you have a recipe for success.  Marquette couldn't handle UC off the dribble all night. When the guards put the ball on the deck, they got good shots. On a night like yesterday, they were all falling. 

Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom are both really good. On off nights they put up 17-12 and 18-7 respectively. Man oh man is DJO's jumper so sweet. I have said on the record I would punch my mom in the face for Brad Redford's jumper. While that's still true, I would punch my dad in the face for DJO's. And then curse him because I'm not left handed. 

Let's start with the seniors. Yancy Gates rebounded like a man possessed. He played 23 minutes and had 13 boards. He was eating offensive rebounds for breakfast before getting 2 fouls. The first was cheap, the second was a clear lowering of the shoulder. He cleared defensive glass the second half. He played strong defense, 2 steals and a block. The only thing he couldn't do was make a layup. I think he was 0-6 on those and 2-2 on dunks. Yancy Gates has a bond with Cincinnati and Cincinnati has a bond with him. The moment was not lost on him last night. You could tell he really appreciated the chants and the cheers. Glad he made it this far. 

Dion Dixon seemed to be every where defensively. He jumped in passing lanes with great foresight. He had 4 steals and some deflections I will say. When he got inside, he was unstoppable. 7-9 on 2s. He settled for the 3 way too much. The 1 he did make was a memorable shot. Dixon got to the foul line 7 times as well. He also didn't get a rebound. This was the Dion Dixon experience in a nutshell, but with extreme highs. It was great to see him get his name chanted late in the game and get his moment. I wanted to run out of the media section so I could clap for him at the end. He really made his senior day pay off. I'm gonna miss ya, best friend. 

If it weren't senior day, the lede would be JaQuon Parker because holy **** JaQuon Parker you guys. If I wasn't there, I would not believe what I was seeing. He played with so much confidence. Once he took the first guy to the basket, he knew he could take the second. Once he knew he could do it twice, he did it until the wheels fell off. He was 10-18(!), 2-4 from 3 and 6-8 from the foul line for a career high 28 points. He had 7 boards, 2 assists and 0 turnovers to boot. The 3 he hit at the end of the half was pure swag. The 5 point run he had early in the second half to make it a 19 point game was awesome. This guy was 9-49 last year. This is a game he's not going to forget. It's one I won't forget. 

Justin Jackson played one of the best first halves of his life. He had all 6 of his points, all 4 of his rebounds and 6 of his 7 blocks in the 2nd half. This next sentence is going to be in all caps because it's important. HE HAD SEVEN BLOCKS IN THIRTEEN MINUTES. Jackson was getting a hand on everything. It translated to the offensive end, where he was getting lots of shots near the bucket. His follow tip in was the highlight. His 7th block where he came from behind to get DJO was incredible. He closed so fast. He didn't even break out the #JustinJacksonMeanFace, he broke out a smile because he knew it was awesome. Also, I love that #JustinJacksonMeanFace is a hashtag endorsed by Go Bearcats. Makes me feel like I started a movement. I'm delusional because one of the blocks hit me in the face. 

Sean Kilpatrick had his moments but really couldn't get it going last night. He hit the first shot of the game, but it was his only 3 in 7 attempts. He was 3-5 from 2. I like going to the basket Sean Kilpatrick. He passed very well. His 4 assists tied for the team lead. He had a pair of steals. SK did a lot, but not a lot that translated to the box score. I'd like to see him get a big game up soon though. He's 7-33 from distance the past 5 games. That's 21%. 

Cashmere Wright just didn't have it. He was short on everything. Mick said he wasn't set on his shots. That's probably true. He had 4 assists to 2 turnovers with 3 boards. 2 steals though. More importantly, Cash played 35 minutes. Write this one off. 

Ge'Lawn Guyn and Cheikh Mbodj both had 2 boards. Mbodj had a put back for 2 points and blocked a shot. Guyn had a steal that lead to the Dixon cherry picking dunk. Guyn plays very tough defense. It's kind of hard to tell on tv, but dude is intense. Jeremiah Davis played 1 minute and had 1 steal. Obviously Mick should have played him the whole game because he would have had 40 steals. 

Last night was a great night to be a Bearcat. 21-9, 11-6. Beat Nova

Pictures from Cincinnati.com and Go Bearcats. Box score via Go Bearcats
  Official Basketball Box Score Marquette vs Cincinnati 02/29/12 7:00 p.m. at Cincinnati, Ohio (Fifth Third Arena) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- VISITORS: Marquette 24-6, 13-4 BE TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS ## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN 00 WILSON, Jamil....... f 4-9 1-1 0-0 1 3 4 4 9 0 4 0 0 27 32 CROWDER, Jae........ f 5-13 2-8 5-6 1 11 12 4 17 2 4 1 1 38 01 JOHNSON-ODOM, Darius g 6-14 4-8 2-2 2 5 7 2 18 3 3 0 0 36 02 BLUE, Vander........ g 3-11 1-3 0-0 5 1 6 0 7 3 1 0 1 29 05 CADOUGAN, Junior.... g 1-8 0-2 2-2 3 1 4 2 4 4 3 0 0 35 04 MAYO, Todd.......... 2-5 1-3 1-2 0 3 3 2 6 1 2 0 0 23 10 ANDERSON, Juan...... 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 22 JONES, Jamail....... 0-1 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 33 WILSON, Derrick..... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 5 TEAM................ 2 2 4 Totals.............. 21-62 9-26 10-12 15 27 42 15 61 14 17 1 2 200 TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 9-29 31.0% 2nd Half: 12-33 36.4% Game: 33.9% DEADB 3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-9 33.3% 2nd Half: 6-17 35.3% Game: 34.6% REBS F Throw % 1st Half: 5-6 83.3% 2nd Half: 5-6 83.3% Game: 83.3% 1,5 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- HOME TEAM: Cincinnati 21-9, 11-6 BE TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS ## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN 34 Gates, Yancy........ f 2-8 0-0 2-2 5 8 13 4 6 0 1 1 2 23 01 Wright, Cashmere.... g 0-7 0-5 0-0 0 3 3 3 0 4 2 0 2 35 03 Dixon, Dion......... g 7-16 1-7 6-7 0 0 0 2 21 2 3 0 4 37 23 Kilpatrick, Sean.... g 4-12 1-7 0-1 1 1 2 0 9 4 1 0 2 36 44 Parker, Jaquon...... g 10-18 2-4 6-8 2 5 7 3 28 2 0 0 0 35 00 Davis III, Jeremiah. 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 05 Jackson, Justin..... 3-3 0-0 0-0 2 2 4 2 6 0 0 7 1 13 13 Mbodj, Cheikh....... 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 0 2 0 0 1 0 10 14 Guyn, Ge'Lawn....... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 10 TEAM................ 3 3 Totals.............. 27-66 4-24 14-18 11 25 36 15 72 12 7 9 13 200 TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 17-40 42.5% 2nd Half: 10-26 38.5% Game: 40.9% DEADB 3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-15 13.3% 2nd Half: 2-9 22.2% Game: 16.7% REBS F Throw % 1st Half: 6-8 75.0% 2nd Half: 8-10 80.0% Game: 77.8% 0,2 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Officials: Ed Corbett, Wally Rutecki, Gary Prager Technical fouls: Marquette-None. Cincinnati-None. Attendance: 11316 Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total Marquette..................... 26 35 - 61 Cincinnati.................... 42 30 - 72 Points in the paint-MU 24,CIN 42. Points off turnovers-MU 3,CIN 14. 2nd chance points-MU 18,CIN 10. Fast break points-MU 5,CIN 19. Bench points-MU 6,CIN 8. Score tied-4 times. Lead changed-4 times. Last FG-MU 2nd-00:06, CIN 2nd-03:09. Largest lead-MU by 3 1st-18:37, CIN by 19 2nd-16:21.
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