Gates' roll continues

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Even in defeat, the play of senior Yancy Gates continued to shine in the middle of the Bearcats offense.

By Chris Gundrum
Special to

CINCINNATI -- Despite losing their second game in a row, the Bearcats received yet another solid performance from Yancy Gates.

For the third straight game Gates produced a double-double, scoring 16 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.

"I was just trying to draw attention in the middle of the zone," said Gates. "We felt if we could get the ball into the middle of the zone and get a couple points and then get some kick-outs it would spread them out and make them kind of play both. I just tried to do what we went over in practice and play my role to help."

If the Bearcats are going to bounce back from their loss to Syracuse, they're going to need Gates to continue to play well.

Especially on defense.

Of the 10 rebounds Gates grabbed against Syracuse, nine of them came on the defensive end. That's something Mick Cronin appreciates on a night when he wasn't pleased with his team's defense as a whole.

"I thought he did all he could do," Cronin said of Gates. "Except make free throws."

Indeed, his night wasn't perfect going 2 of 7 from the free throw line. Those struggles from the stripe blended in with breakdowns defensively to bury the Bearcats. The good news being they have some time to get better. Their next game isn't until Saturday when they go on the road to face Rutgers.

Gates knows they must take advantage of the time between now and then.

"We've got a little bit of a stretch before our next game where we're going to have practice so we're just going to have to come to practice and work as hard as we can and get ready for the next game," Gates said. "Try to put the game in the past but fix the mistakes from this game so we can do better in the next game."

If the Bearcats don't continue to improve throughout the rest of the season it won't be because of a lack of talent.

The Bearcats have plenty of guys who can play. They simply need to keep the right mindset when playing.

"We've got talented players on our team that can score can play (defense)," said Gates. "We've just got to keep the same focus throughout the whole game and not let other team's runs kind of crack our spirit."

Therefore, if the Bearcats are going to win on Saturday they're going to need two things--improved defense and points and rebounds from Yancy Gates.

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