Cincinnati Rally Falls Just Short Against No. 9 Villanova, 77-73|
March 2, 2010
Rashad Bishop led four University of Cincinnati (16-13, 7-10 BIG EAST) players in double figures, scoring 19 points, but No. 9/9 Villanova (24-5, 13-4 BIG EAST) held on for a 77-73 victory on Senior Night at Fifth Third Arena Tuesday. Senior Deonta Vaughn scored on his first attempt - a 3-pointer - and finished with 18 points, while Lance Stephenson scored 12 points and had a team-high seven rebounds. Yancy Gates was perfect from the free throw line, 7-for-7, and finished with 13 points.
Villanova took several leads in the game with the Bearcats fighting back each time. In the first half the Wildcats went on an 11-2 run with the score tied at five and lead by as many as 10 with 8:20 to play in the half. The Bearcats held Villanova scoreless from the floor for 7:38 and tied the game at 28 with 1:07 left. In a dramatic final 42 seconds, Nova's Corey Fisher hit a 3-pointer only to have Vaughn answer with a 3-pointer of his own with six seconds left in the period. The teams were tied at 31 going into the locker rooms.
In the second half, Villanova started hot and pushed out to a 16 point lead with 6:19 left in the game, 64-48. Again the Bearcats did not go away, using 3:20 and a 17-2 run to get within one, 66-65, with 2:48 remaining. Freshman Jaquon Parker contributed five points during that span.
The Wildcats bounced back and gained an eight-point lead, 75-67, with 17 seconds to go. The Bearcats stuck around, getting two free throws from Stephenson and a three-pointer from Bishop with five seconds left, making the score 75-73. Villanova scored two points at the free throw line with three seconds left, holding on for the 77-73 win.
Villanova had six players score in double figures, led by Scottie Reynolds 17 points. The Wildcats landed 10 3-pointers and scored 25 points at the charity stripe.
The game served as the final home game for seniors Vaughn and Steve Toyloy. The Bearcats will play next on Saturday, March 6 at No. 19/20 Georgetown in the regular-season finale in the Verizon Center at Noon.