The Cincinnati Bearcats advanced to the finals of the Global Sports Thing in Las Vegas with a 78-70 win against Iowa State tonight. I'm going to run through things kind of quickly so stay with me.
This was a good win. It could have been a much better win though. Cincinnati was on pace to run Iowa State off the floor. They build the lead up to 18. Then the offense went stone cold. The Cyclones chipped away at the lead until all of a sudden it was single digits. The Clones wouldn't go away. UC blew chances to put them on ice. Iowa State blew chances to make UC pay for their mistakes. Neither team really shined late. Except for one man.
Sean Kilpatrick scored a career high 32 points tonight. He was 7-14 from the field and just 2-6 from 3. What he did was score all the easy points. He went 16-16 at the free throw line. He really struggled at the line to start the year, but put those problems behind him in a big way tonight. It was a great performance. UC needed every single one of those 32 points. Also, we got some SEAN KILPATRICK MEAN FACE.
Kilpatrick added 5 rebounds and 5 steals. Hell of a game.
Cash didn't have a great game from the field going 5-13. He missed every 3 and only attempted 3. But he did score 14 points and made 2 big free throws late. Cash dished out 5 assists, took care of the ball with only 2 turnovers. More importantly, he harassed Korie Lucious and the Iowa State guards into 3 steals.
Cheikh Mbodj drove me crazy. He had 5 rebounds but he should have had at least 7 or 8. He missed a tip in on a Cash fast break late in the game where he batted it toward the rim instead of actually dunking it. You have big hands, use them to grab the damn ball. He was a liability tonight. He had 0 blocks. He's reaching Jihad Muhammad levels. Another guy who wore 13.
Justin Jackson played a good game. He blocked 3 shots and played some good defense. He got in a bit of foul trouble, but one of those fouls was because Mbodj didn't grab a rebound and a guy was going to get a layup. Jackson didn't turn the ball over. He took a couple of bad shots, including another 3, but he was pretty fine. JJ had 6 boards and he showed us some #MEANFACE. I liked what he put out tonight.
JaQuon Parker had a terrible game. He played just 19 minutes because foul trouble. He was 1-7 from the field. He had just 2 rebounds. Parker had 3 turnovers. The last one was brutal because he dribbled the ball off his foot, with UC hanging on to the lead for dear life, early in the shot clock. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Ge'Lawn Guyn hit a 3 early. Jermaine Sanders hit 2 threes. 9 points from those two was huge. Keep shooting.
Titus Rubles played some solid ball. I have no idea what is going on with his 3 point shot though. He took 4. One was a shot put that he knew he missed when it left his hand. 2 of them were so far off that they hit next to the side of the rim. But the rest of his game was what UC needed. He has 10 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal. He was great in the second half. He and Jackson got a lot of playing time together (FINALLY) and they were a good group. Especially defensively.
David Nyarsuk had some good minutes. He had a sequence with an assist for a layup followed by him blocking a shot and UC got another layup. He was 2 of 3 from the field, including a ridiculous banker where he was falling away from the basket towards the UC bench. He also had 5 rebounds. Good job, Dave.
Korie Lucious had 6 turnovers in the box score, but some of his shots were horrible and should have been turnovers. If he turns it down some, Iowa State could be dangerous. Tyrus McGee had 22-4-3 assists-2 steals and a block. I liked his game. He is a solid player.
UC will play the winner of the UNLV/Oregon game, which hasn't started yet, at approximately 10:30 pm tomorrow night on CBS Sports. There may or may not be a preview. There will be a quick write up of that game and full write up of the game on Monday.
Photo via Go Bearcats/AP