Cats snap skid, beat DePaul

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With their backs against the wall, the Bearcats fought back to avoid losing their 4th straight

By Chris Gundrum

With the possibility of losing four games in a row, there's no doubt UC was under some pressure to win last night.

However, even when the shots weren't falling, the Bearcats managed to stay calm and snap a 3-game losing streak, beating DePaul 74-66.

"A lot things weren't going our way," said Mick Cronin. "We were missing layups, not shooting the ball well from the perimeter. But I was really happy with our composure, all night. As happy as I've been in a while."

As happy as Cronin was with his team, DePaul coach Oliver Purnell was just as disappointed with his.

He praised the Bearcats (16-7, 6-4 in the Big East) for making some crucial plays.

"You've got to give Cincinnati credit, they finished in a flourish," said Purnell. "They got on the board, they made a couple of big shots when they needed to make them and we didn't."

The biggest shot came from Cashmere Wright with a little over 4 minutes to go in the game.

With DePaul (11-11, 2-8) up by 2, Wright, who finished the game with 11 points, made a 3-pointer to put the Bearcats in front.

They would lead the rest of the way.

"I just want to win, that's all," said Wright. "I just went out there, played hard, and took what they gave me."

Wright was one of five players to finish the game in double figures including Dion Dixon and Sean Kilpatrick who led the way with 16 points each.

So many players scoring may be due to Cronin's message this week.

 "He just told us we had to get back what we were doing when we had suspended players," said Wright. "We've got to get back to having fun, more fast-paced and nobody worrying about mistakes."

Justin Jackson also had a productive night for the Bearcats.

Although he scored 14 points off the bench, Cronin was more pleased with what he did without the basketball.

"He did a great job running back in and helping and blocking shots," said Cronin. "And he did a great job when he was switched on Brandon Young. It's the best job he's done not getting beat off the dribble."

Although the Bearcats have relieved some pressure of a losing streak, the players know their job is not yet finished.

 "It's good to get the monkey off our back," said Kilpatrick. "But there's still a lot of work that has to be done."


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