Dec. 10, 2011
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CINCINNATI – In the 79th edition of the Crosstown Shootout, the University of Cincinnati men’s basketball team fell to No. 8/8 Xavier University, 76-53, Saturday afternoon at Cintas Center.
Cincinnati (5-3) could not overcome its struggles on the offensive end after shooting just 28.3 percent from the field, including 6.3 percent from behind the three-point line.
Despite its poor shooting effort, UC received three double-digit scoring performances. Senior forward Yancy Gates (Cincinnati, Ohio/Withrow) led the Bearcats with his 17th career double-double after totaling 18 points and 12 rebounds. Senior guard Dion Dixon (Chicago, Ill./Crane Technical Prep Common) added 14 and redshirt sophomore wing Sean Kilpatrick (White Plains, N.Y./Notre Dame Prep) scored 11.
Xavier (8-0), which shot 51.8 percent from the field, started the second half with a 9-2 run that pushed its lead to 43-27 and continued to pull away through much of the second period.
A three-pointer from XU freshman forward Justin Martin with 9:17 left lifted UC’s deficit to 18 points. Xavier ended the game by scoring the final eight points in the final minutes of the second half.
After missing their first 12 three-point attempts, Kilpatrick made the Bearcats’ first three-pointer with 7:33 left in the game. UC finished the day 1 for 16 from threes, while Xavier made 5 of 14.
UC went into halftime trailing 34-25 thanks in large part to its 32.1 field-goal percentage and an extended offensive drought near the end of the first half.
After Gates hit two free throws to put the Bearcats up 23-22 with 5:43 left, UC went 4:47.2 seconds without scoring, during which time the Musketeers scored 12 consecutive points to take a 34-23 lead.
The drought ended when junior transfer center Cheikh Mbodj (Dakar, Senegal/Grayson County College) made a layup while getting fouled with 55.8 seconds left in the first to end XU’s run.
Gates led UC in the first half by nearly recording a double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing eight rebounds.
Junior guard Mark Lyons scored 14 of his game-high 19 points in first half to pace XU.
Junior guard Jaquon Parker (Suffolk, Va./King's Fork), who missed UC’s first seven games of the season with a groin injury, made his season debut at the 12:54 mark of the first half and finished the game with four points, three rebounds and one steal in 15 minutes off the bench.
Cincinnati will play its third consecutive road contest at 7 p.m. Wednesday when it travels to Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio to play Wright State University on ESPN2.