Jan. 4, 2012
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CINCINNATI - In its BIG EAST Conference home opener, the University of Cincinnati defeated Notre Dame 71-55 Wednesday evening at Fifth Third Arena to up its conference record to 2-0.
Three Bearcats scored in double figures, led by senior guard Dion Dixon's (Chicago, Ill./Crane Technical Common Prep) game-high 18 points. Junior guard Jaquon Parker (Suffolk, Va./King's Fork) followed with 11 points while freshman guard Jeremiah Davis III (Muncie, Ind./Huntington Prep) added 10 points off the bench.
Nearly joining the double-digit point club for UC were junior point guard Cashmere Wright (Savannah, Ga./Urban Christian Academy) and sophomore guard Sean Kilpatrick (White Plains, N.Y./Notre Dame Prep), who both recorded nine points. Wright added game highs of five points and five assists.
Cincinnati (12-3, 2-0 BIG EAST) held its largest lead of the game at 17 points at 43-26 after Parker opened the half by connecting on three-pointers in three of UC's first four possession.
UND cut the lead to single digits multiple times in the waning moments of the game, cutting the margin to as little as eight points with 2 minutes, 48 seconds reaming;; however, UC responded by closing the game on a 10-2 run.
Cincinnati entered halftime leading 31-21 after limiting Notre Dame to 32.1 percent (9 for 28) shooting and forcing six Fighting Irish turnovers which were converted into seven fast-break points.
Davis III provided an offensive spark off the bench in the first half, scoring eight straight points for UC in a span of 2 minutes, 22 seconds that helped the Bearcats build a 27-14 lead.
Cincinnati pushed its lead to 10 points with 10:36 remaining in the first half after freshman guard Ge'Lawn Guyn (Georgetown, Ky./South Kent Prep) hit a three-pointer from the right wing to make the score 18-8.
Senior forward Yancy Gates (Cincinnati, Ohio/Withrow), who missed the previous six games due to a suspension, entered the game with 14:31 left in the first half and contributed right away by capping off an 8-0 UC run with a left-handed turnaround jumper at the 12:59 mark that gave the Bearcats a 13-4 lead. Gates ended the game with six points, a team-high eight rebounds and a season-best three blocks in 21 minutes.
Cincinnati returns to action 2 p.m. Saturday when it plays host to St. John's University at Fifth Third Arena. The game will be televised live on FOX Sports Ohio.