Men's Basketball Wins Exhibition Opener, 64-54|
Nov. 1, 2008
CINCINNATI - Behind a combined 27 points from senior Mike Williams (Camden, Ala./Wilcox Central) and freshman Yancy Gates (Cincinnati, Ohio/Withrow) and a solid all-around defensive performance, the University of Cincinnati's men's basketball team defeated Carleton University, 64-54, in its first exhibition contest of the 2008-09 season Saturday at Fifth Third Arena.
Carleton entered the game with a 3-1 record against NCAA Division I opponents in exhibition games, with its only loss coming to the reigning NCAA Champion Kansas Jayhawks.
Cincinnati's lead did not dip below eight points in the second half until a pair of Michael Kenny treys cut the Ravens deficit to six points, 42-36, with 11:25 to play. Two Gates layups re-established an eight-point lead, 46-38, with 9:51 on the clock, but the Ravens connected on three free throws and two fast-break lay-ups to close within one point, 46-45, at the 7:57 mark.
Holding on to a two-point lead, 49-47 with 5:31 to go, Cincinnati failed to convert on three consecutive free-throw opportunities, and Carleton's Stuart Turnbull hit a three-pointer from the left wing to give the Ravens their first lead of the game, 50-49, since leading 13-12 with 11:39 to play in the first period.
A layup by freshman Dion Dixon (Chicago, Ill./Crane Technical Prep) in transition put Cincinnati in front, 51-50, with 4:08 to play, and a 8-4 run sparked by six consecutive free throws by Williams, and a floater in the lane by senior Deonta Vaughn (Indianapolis, Ind./Harmony Community) widened the Bearcat margin to five points, 59-54, with just under two minutes on the clock. Down the stretch, UC forced three stops and hit 5-of-6 free throws making the final margin 10, 64-54.
Williams scored a game-high tying 15 points, 11 of which came in the second half. Williams went 11-of-12 from the charity stripe and 2-of-5 from the field. Vaughn added 14 points, while Gates finished with 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Dixon finished with a team-best eight rebounds.
Turnbull led Carleton with 15 points and six assists, but was the only Ravens played that scored in double figures. Aaron Doornekamp finished with nine points and a game-best nine rebounds.
A 15-foot baseline jumper by Williams with 18:59 on the clock in the first half marked his first basket as a Bearcat and sparked an brief 5-0 run that put the Red and Black on top 5-2 three minutes into the contest. Gates put in his first two buckets on back-to-back possessions with a layup at 12:35 mark, and a put-back dunk on a miss by sophomore Larry Davis (Houston, Texas/Alief-Hastings), giving Cincinnati a 12-10 advantage with 11:55 on the clock.
Tied at 14-14, Cincinnati put together a 17-4 run over a 7:25 span to take a 32-18 advantage with 2:46 to play. During the run, senior Vaughn scored three fast-break layups, while Davis added five points courtesy of a three-pointer from the left baseline and a pair of free throws. A pair of Gates free throws with 1:54 remaining in the half wrapped UC's scoring in the first half as the Bearcats entered the intermission with a 34-23 lead.
Cincinnati concludes its exhibition schedule when it welcomes Northern Kentucky to Fifth Third Arena for a 7:30 p.m. tip on Tuesday, Nov. 11.
NOTES: The season-opening game between Cincinnati and South Dakota has been moved from Noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 16 in order to accommodate television. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Net Ohio.