Nov. 8, 2011
Final Stats |
CINCINNATI – The No. 21/22 ranked University of Cincinnati men’s basketball team closed out 2011-12 exhibition play with a 66-54 win over Northern Kentucky University Tuesday evening at Fifth Third Arena.
Sophomore forward Justin Jackson (Cocoa Beach, Fla./Arlington Country Day) produced a double-double of 24 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Bearcats charge. Senior forward Yancy Gates (Cincinnati, Ohio/Withrow) followed by adding 19 points, on 8 of 9 shooting, and eight boards.
After UC increased its lead to 17 points at 50-33, Northern Kentucky went on a 19-9 run to close the gap to seven at 59-52 with 5:16 left in the game; however, UC held onto victory after outscoring NKU 7-2 the rest of the way.
UC’s size advantage in the frontcourt proved too much for the Norse the majority of the game as the Bearcats outscored NKU 32-10 in the paint.
Starting in the opening minute of the second half, Jackson scored nine consecutive points that increased UC’s lead to 48-31.
NKU stayed within striking distance by hitting 10 three-pointers, including 6 for 14 in the first half. Norse junior wing Eshaunte Jones led NKU with 14 points, 12 of which he scored in the first half.
The Bearcats started the game on a 10-0 run that featured four points each from Gates and senior guard Dion Dixon (Chicago, Ill./ Crane Technical Prep Common), who made a four-point play on their second offensive possession.
Cincinnati increased its lead to 15 with 4:20 remaining in the first half on a Gates layup before heading into halftime with a 39-29 lead.
Gates (12 points) and Jackson (10 points) paced the UC offense by combining to shoot 9 for 10 in the first.
The Bearcats shot a blistering 61.5 percent (16 for 26) from the field in the first half and distributed eight assists. They finished the game at 53.1 percent (26-49) with 10 assists.
Jackson’s single-game career highs are eight points, which he recorded twice last season (Jan. 22 at St. John’s and Feb. 5 at Pittsburgh), and seven rebounds (Nov. 27, 2010 vs. Dayton).
The Bearcats will open their regular season vs. Alabama State University 7 p.m. Sunday at Fifth Third Arena. The game will be televised live on FOX Sports Ohio.