Originally posted on Bearcats Blog  |  Last updated 2/9/12

The Cincinnati Bearcats had a rare conference "layup" last night against St John's, winning in a runaway. This is the type of game that I'm sure all of the fans were hoping for. To that matter, I'm sure it was the type of game that the players and coaches were hoping for as well. When you are playing one of the worst teams in the league, you want to punch them in the mouth and sap their desire. The Bearcats did just that. This win should help get the road swag back for the Cats after dropping back to back road games. There was a lot of good last night. The Cincinnati Bearcats are one of 4 teams with 4 losses in Big East play. They have beaten Georgetown and get to take on the other 2 teams in a couple of weeks. As for this current road trip, UC did the bare minimum, win 1 of 2. Before we look at the toughest game remaining on the docket, let's look back at the win over St John's. 

UC and St John's started with their typical frantic, brickfest start. The score was 9-9 7 minutes in. From the 12:44 mark on, the Bearcats took the lead on a Dion Dixon 3 and never looked back. They would pick up the scoring as the half went on, finishing with 30 first half points. Against St John's in the recent history, that was a lot. 

St John's made a mini-push to start the second half by reeling off 5 straight down 13. UC answered steal and a layup off an offensive rebound, a steal and a layup, a steal and a 3, a 3 that answered a StJ 3 and another jumper to get the lead to 17. Sean Kilpatrick scored 10 points in that run , JaQuon Parker scored the first bucket. Just when you started to think "here comes St John's to ugly this baby up," the Bearcats put the smack down and had none of that. It was great to watch. The lead would get up to 27 at some points later in the game. UC didn't mess around.

A huge part of the second half run and scoring explosion was the fact UC got 24 points in the paint out of 46. UC had 16 of their 30 points in the first half in the paint. St John's has some length, but they don't have size. They couldn't stop the Bearcats from getting to the rim at will. And get to the rim at will the Bearcats did. 

One of the things that I have stressed is shot selection. The Bearcats used that discretion almost perfectly. They hit 51% for the game, 58% the second half. They only took 16 three pointers. From a team that took 84 in the first meeting, that was a welcome sight. Throw out Cash and Guyn, the guys who made 3s were 7-13. That's pretty good. Everyone who attempted a field goal made a field goal. 

The Bearcats defense was one of the best efforts of the season. They switched zone and man all night. That really confused St John's. The Johnnies shot just 28% the first half. The defense forced 11 turnovers. They scored 13 points off 6 in the second half. UC had 18 total points off turnovers. It was a stellar effort on the defensive end. Sure St John's offense was stand around and do nothing until 15 seconds or less was left, but UC stifled it. 

The rebounding effort was there in a huge way. The Bearcats outrebounded the Storm by 20. UC missed 38 shots and rebounded 16 of them. That's 42%. St John's got 10 offensive rebounds. they missed 47 shots. 4 of those rebounds were dead ball out of bounds, so St John's didn't even get to put shots up immediately in those situations. Rebounding and defense, a novel concept for winning. 

The Bearcats were not without their flaws. The biggest 2 things were free throws and turnovers. The Bearcats were a horrible 7-14 at the foul line. A lot of 1-2 efforts. The second biggest knock were the turnovers. UC turned it over 16 times. Sure, many of the 8 in the second half were by the bench, but there were 11 turnovers before that point. St John's scored 16 points off those turnovers. For a team that was having trouble scoring, you let them get easy points. 

Cashmere Wright had a small problem with 3 of the second half turnovers and 4 total, but that was the only blemish on his record last night. The point guard put up the second double double of his career, the first of points and rebounds, going for 12-10. He had 4 steals and 3 assists. Cash had 7 boards in the first half. That thing about him not making 2s anymore? That was broken by him going 6-7 inside the arc. Finally that meme is dead. It was a great game by Cash. One of his better efforts of his career. All he's gotta do now is put up a triple double. 

Yancy Gates was pretty unstoppable. He had 14 points on 6-8 shooting, 2-3 at the foul line. Gates had 5 offensive rebounds and 9 total. He was so close to a double double. Gates had a block and a steal. He could have gotten that double double if he didn't get himself in foul trouble. Yancy only played 21 minutes because of 4 fouls and the blowout. Some teams have no answer for the big man. St John's was one of them. Gates enjoyed playing in New York the past couple years. Game winner last year, domination this year. Also, Gates dunk.

JaQuon Parker got another start. Despite a sluggish start, Parker had 4 points and 5 boards. He's had a bit of the problem with the turnover bug, 7 the last 3 games, but only turned it over once last night. He had an assist and a steal. It was a solid game. 

Dion Dixon got UC going early. He scored 10 of the first 18 points. Those were all of the points he scored, but it's not how many you score, it's when you score them. He scored them at the right time. One of them was on a bad ass alley oop from Sean Kilpatrick. Dion showed the hops. Dixon had 4 assists to 1 turnovers, a block and 2 steals. He played much better defense on D'Angelo Harrison than he played in the first meeting. Harrison got the shots he wanted at will the second half of that game. In this one, Harrison was 4-13. Great defense. Great defense, great passing, timely shooting. Big game by my best friend. 

Sean Kilpatrick had 14 on 5-10 shooting, 3-6 from deep, 1-2 at the line. SK scored all of his field goals from the 2 minute mark of the first half to the 15 minute mark of the second half. His free throw came later. Like I just said, it's not how many you score, it's when you score. He scored 10 when St John's was making their run. He squashed it. SK had 8 rebounds and 4 assists as well. He did turn the ball over 3 times. It was a solid game by SK. Moe Harkless took 8 shots. That's because of Killa. White Plains represent.

Jeremiah Davis gave great minutes off the bench. He was 3-5, 2-2 from deep for 8 points. He had an assist and a steal. His jumper looked pure and confident. Hopefully he's turning the other corner to getting back to being a scoring threat off the bench.  

Justin Jackson was 1-3 from the field, 1-2 from the line. He had a couple of crazy drives that were uber aggressive, but ultimately uber horrible looking and unsuccessful. He turned his ankle and didn't play much after that. 3 minutes is all. Hopefully it's nothing major. UC good enough bench play last night to lessen the impact of his injury. 

Cheikh Mbodj played the game of his UC life. In 16 minutes, he had 4 points, 5 boards, 5 blocks and an assist. He dominated. Yes, the same 13 that we've seen all season. The one with the horribly injured ankle that almost had him redshirt. He's been giving solid minutes, but this was above and beyond. Huge game. Dominating game. 

Ge'Lawn Guyn played pretty well. He scored a bucket, hit a free throw for 3 points, had a pair of assists, pair of rebounds and a steal. Solid minutes. With that being said, this wouldn't have happened if he wore a headband.

Jermaine Sanders got 13 minutes last night. He made his first Big East field goal, had 2 boards, and 2 assists to boot. Took advantage of the minutes.

Alex Eppensteiner got minutes. Did he drop points on heads? 1-2 free throws. Yup yup. Also had a rebound. 

Kelvin Gaines also played last night. He had as many rebounds, fouls and turnovers as he did minutes, 3. 

16-7, 7-4. I'll take it. 

Pictures via Cincinnati.com. Box score from Go Bearcats
  Official Basketball Box Score Cincinnati vs St. John's 2/8/12 7pm at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- VISITORS: Cincinnati 17-7, 7-4 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 6-8 0-0 2-3 5 4 9 4 14 0 0 1 1 21 44 Parker, Jaquon...... f 2-6 0-0 1-2 2 3 5 0 5 1 1 0 1 25 01 Wright, Cashmere.... g 6-9 0-2 0-1 3 7 10 1 12 3 4 0 4 27 03 Dixon, Dion......... g 4-10 2-5 0-0 0 0 0 1 10 4 1 1 2 30 23 Kilpatrick, Sean.... g 5-10 3-6 1-2 2 6 8 1 14 4 3 0 1 30 00 Davis III, Jeremiah. 3-5 2-2 0-0 0 0 0 3 8 1 1 0 1 12 05 Jackson, Justin..... 1-3 0-0 1-2 1 0 1 0 3 0 0 1 0 6 10 Eppensteiner, Alex.. 0-0 0-0 1-2 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 13 Mbodj, Cheikh....... 2-4 0-0 0-0 1 4 5 2 4 1 1 5 0 16 14 Guyn, Ge'Lawn....... 1-2 0-1 1-2 0 2 2 2 3 2 0 0 1 15 15 Sanders, Jermaine... 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 2 2 2 1 0 0 13 24 Gaines, Kelvin...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 3 0 0 3 0 0 3 TEAM................ 1 2 3 Totals.............. 31-60 7-16 7-14 16 33 49 19 76 18 16 8 11 200 TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-27 44.4% 2nd Half: 19-33 57.6% Game: 51.7% DEADB 3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-8 37.5% 2nd Half: 4-8 50.0% Game: 43.8% REBS F Throw % 1st Half: 3-7 42.9% 2nd Half: 4-7 57.1% Game: 50.0% 2 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- HOME TEAM: St. John's 10-14, 4-8 TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS ## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN 04 HARKLESS, Moe....... f 2-8 0-1 2-2 1 4 5 2 6 3 2 0 1 36 15 POINTER, Sir'Dominic f 3-9 0-2 0-0 3 4 7 4 6 3 1 2 0 36 22 GARRETT, Amir....... f 3-8 0-0 1-3 1 0 1 3 7 1 3 0 0 25 01 GREENE, Phil........ g 3-12 1-2 1-2 0 5 5 1 8 3 2 0 1 34 11 HARRISON, D'Angelo.. g 4-13 2-4 5-6 1 1 2 2 15 2 3 0 1 38 03 ACHIUWA, God'sgift.. 2-5 0-0 2-4 0 1 1 2 6 0 0 0 0 24 25 RIVERS, Gerard...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 30 WHITE, Jamal........ 2-2 2-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 0 2 40 SEALY, Sam.......... 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 55 BRAKALOV, Boris..... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 TEAM................ 4 3 7 Totals.............. 19-58 5-12 11-19 10 19 29 14 54 12 11 2 3 200 TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 9-32 28.1% 2nd Half: 10-26 38.5% Game: 32.8% DEADB 3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 0-2 0.0% 2nd Half: 5-10 50.0% Game: 41.7% REBS F Throw % 1st Half: 1-3 33.3% 2nd Half: 10-16 62.5% Game: 57.9% 4 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Officials: Pat Driscoll, Brian O'Connell, Ed Hightower Technical fouls: Cincinnati-None. St. John's-None. Attendance: 7618 Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total Cincinnati.................... 30 46 - 76 St. John's.................... 19 35 - 54 Points in the paint-CIN 40,STJ 18. Points off turnovers-CIN 18,STJ 15. 2nd chance points-CIN 15,STJ 7. Fast break points-CIN 6,STJ 7. Bench points-CIN 21,STJ 12. Score tied-4 times. Lead changed-2 times. Last FG-CIN 2nd-01:19, STJ 2nd-00:26. Largest lead-CIN by 27 2nd-05:39, STJ by 2 1st-14:05.
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