Bearcats Beat Winthrop in Final Non-Conference Tuneup

Dec. 22, 2009

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CINCINNATI - Yancy Gates scored a game-high 16 points and pulled down seven rebounds leading the University of Cincinnati (8-3) to a 74-57 victory over Winthrop University (5-6) on Tuesday night at Fifth Third Arena. Gates was one of three Bearcats to score in double figures as Deonta Vaughn scored 11 points, all in the second half, and Ibrahima Thomas added 11 points as well.

Gates rebounded from a sluggish performance in his last game when he finished without a point or rebound against Lipscomb on Saturday afternoon. The Bearcats were persistent with their post-play, scoring 36 points in the paint vs. Winthrop and shooting over 50 percent from the floor (51.0) for the second straight game. UC out-rebounded Winthrop, 40-28, and received 42 points from its bench.

Cincinnati went down low immediately as Thomas scored five of UC's first seven points. Winthrop went on a short 5-0 run before Cashmere Wright hit a 3-pointer to spark a 12-0 run over 3:12, giving UC a 24-11 advantage with 9:45 remaining in the first period. Gates scored seven points during that stretch, including two on a fastbreak dunk on a no-look pass from Lance Stephenson. Cincinnati then scored six more points to the Eagles' three, spreading the UC lead, 30-14. Four of those points came on dunks, an alley-oop by Darnell Wilks from Wright and a step-and-dunk jam by Gates from Stephenson. The Bearcats took a 39-23 lead into the locker room after scoring 34 points in the paint or from the free throw line in the first stanza.

Stephenson started the scoring for UC in the second half, just as he did in the first, and Thomas hit his first three-pointer at UC but the two teams traded buckets over 3:45 until Winthrop went on a 11-4 run and got as close as nine, 54-45, with 10:52 to go. UC responded with an 18-5 run over 8:41, with eight points coming from Vaughn and the Bearcats holding a 22-point advantage, 72-50, with 1:53 to play. The Eagles closed out the half on a 7-2 run, but UC prevailed with the 74-57 victory.

Charles Corbin scored a team-high 12 points for Winthrop. Dion Dixon finished with nine points for UC while Stephenson had eight points and five assists.

Cincinnati will return to action on Wednesday, Dec. 30, when they play No. 11/11 Connecticut at Fifth Third Arena in its BIG EAST Conference opener at 7 p.m.