Jan. 3, 2007
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SETTING THE SCENE: The University of Cincinnati completes the non-conference part of its schedule with a visit to No. 22 Memphis on Thursday, Jan. 4. The 9 p.m. contest will be televised nationally by ESPN. Cincinnati, 9-4, will be out to rebound from Saturday's 79-66 loss to Ohio University. Memphis, which defeated Lamar, 87-62, on Dec. 28, is 10-3.
BATTLE OF FAMILIAR FOES: Thursday's contest reunites a pair of rivals. The two teams have clashed 64 times as members of the Missouri Valley, Metro, Great Midwest and Conference USA conferences, with UC holding a 36-28 lead in the series. The Bearcats have won eight of the last 10 meetings.
LAST SEASON: Memphis got 32 points from Antonio Anderson, whose previous scoring high was eight points, to outscore Cincinnati, 91-81, on Dec. 3, 2005 in Fifth Third Arena. The Tigers broke a 53-all tie with 7:53 to play in the second half with an 11-2 scoring run.
LAST TIME IN MEMPHIS: James White corralled an offensive rebound and sank a jumper with 16.2 seconds to play to lift Cincinnati to a 62-60 win over Memphis at the FedEx Forum on March 5, 2005. White hit the game-winner after Memphis' Darius Washington had tied the game with 51 seconds remaining. Jason Maxiell came up with a steal to end the Tigers' hopes of a game-winning shot.
Thursday's game will be the Bearcats' first true away contest of the season. UC has played 10 home games and is 1-3 in three games played at neutral sites this season.
Memphis is Cincinnati's second Top 25-ranked opponent of the season. The Bearcats played then-No. 4 Ohio State on Dec. 16.
This will be Mick Cronin's first game as head coach vs. Memphis. Tigers mentor John Calipari is 2-7 vs. Cincinnati, 2-5 while at Memphis and 0-2 as head coach at Massachusetts.
Only two Bearcats who played in last year's Memphis contest, Cedric McGowan and Ronald Allen, are on this year's roster.
UC forward Connor Barwin, also a tight end on the Cincinnati football team, will not be available for the game. Barwin is with the Bearcats football team in Toronto for its Jan. 6 International Bowl contest vs. Western Michigan.
FANTASTIC FINISHES: Four of the last seven Cincinnati-Memphis clashes have been decided in the final minute or in overtime, with the Bearcats claiming all four of those games.
In 2004-05, James White hit a jumper with 16.2 seconds to play to give UC a 62-60 win.
In 2003-04, Tony Bobbitt's 3-pointer with 36 seconds to play lifted UC to a two-point lead in an eventual 83-79 win.
In 2001-02, Steve Logan drove the length of the court to score on a layup with two seconds to play to send the game into overtime, which UC won, 80-75.
Kenny Satterfield's jumper with .9 seconds left gave Cincinnati a 66-65 victory in 2000-01.
CINCINNATI-MEMPHIS SHOWDOWNS: Over the past 15 seasons, Cincinnati and Memphis have met in 11 contests which have determined league titles or tourney advancement.
Mar. 6, 2004 Final regular season game. Cincinnati clinches a tie for the C-USA title with an 83-79 win.
Mar. 3, 2002 Final regular season game. Cincinnati needed a win to clinch the C-USA title outright. Memphis would tie with a win. UC 80, Memphis 75, ot.
Mar. 9, 2001 Semifinals of C-USA Tournament in Louisville. UC 89, Memphis 79.
Feb. 29, 1996 Next-to-last regular season game. Teams were tied for best C-USA record. UC 71, Memphis 66. UC lost to Marquette two days later.
Mar. 10,1995 Semifinals of Great Midwest Conference tourney. UC 77, Memphis 66.
Mar. 2, 1995 Next-to-last regular season game. Memphis clinches Great Midwest title with an 83-73 win.
Mar. 12, 1994 Championship game of Great Midwest Tournament. UC 68, Memphis 47.
Mar. 13, 1993 Championship game of Great Midwest Tournament. UC 77, Memphis 72.
Mar. 7, 1992 Last game of regular season. UC clinches co-championship with a 69-59 win.
Mar. 14, 1992 Championship game of Great Midwest Tournament. UC 75, Memphis 63.
Mar. 29, 1992 NCAA Midwest Regional final. UC 88, Memphis 57.
NOTING THE OHIO GAME:
Marvin Gentry tied a career high with 13 points. He had 13 points vs. Wofford on Nov. 21.
Jamual Warren, with three steals, extended his streak of games with a steal to 13. He has had multiple steals in nine of those contests.
Branden Miller set a career high with two steals. He also tied his career high with two rebounds.
Ohio's 30 free throws and 36 attempts were season highs by a UC opponent.
The loss snapped Cincinnati's 11-game winning streak over Mid-American Conference opponents. UC, which had defeated MAC teams Central Michigan and Miami this season, last loss vs. a Mid-American Conference team also occurred in Cleveland when Toledo upset the Bearcats, 69-66, in the 2000 Rock-N-Roll Shootout (Dec. 28, 2000).
WARREN ON A ROLL: Jamual Warren, who tallied 15 points in Saturday's setback to Ohio, has scored in double figures in five of his last six games. The 6-2 junior has averaged 13.3 points during that span. Warren has achieved career highs in four categories during his last six contests, recording personal bests for points (16 vs. Temple), rebounds (7 vs. Temple), assists (5 vs. Xavier) and steals (4 vs. Xavier).
WILLIAMSON WINNING PRAISE: John Williamson continues to draw attention for his play. The 6-6 junior and newcomer from the junior college ranks tallied 15 points in Saturday's contest vs. Ohio and narrowly missed his fourth double-double when he finished with nine rebounds.
Williamson, who ranks sixth in the BIG EAST Conference in rebounding with his 8.2 average, has averaged 9.2 rebounds over his last six games. He grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds, the most by a Bearcat and the second-most this season in the BIG EAST Conference, vs. No. 4 Ohio State on Dec. 16, and with 17 points, recorded his third double-double of the season.
Williamson earned BIG EAST Conference Honor Roll honors for his play the week of Dec. 11-17, during which he averaged 17.5 points and 12.0 rebounds.
VAUGHN MAKING AN IMPACT: Deonta Vaughn has twice earned BIG EAST Conference Rookie of the Week honors. He was recognized most recently for his performance in Cincinnati's victory over North Carolina State on Dec. 23, in which he scored 25 points and reached career highs with nine assists and six steals.
Vaughn has ranked among the top freshmen scorers in the BIG EAST throughout the season. He is Cincinnati's second-leading scorer with his 14.5-point average.
Vaughn has shown that he does not play like a freshman when the stakes are large. In the 67-57 win over crosstown rival Xavier on Dec. 13, the 6-1 guard led all scorers with 24 points. Against North Carolina State on Dec. 23, Vaughn scored 25 points and achieved career highs with nine assists and six steals.
Vaughn tallied a UC freshman single-game scoring record of 33 points vs. Wofford on Nov. 21. Vaughn connected on nine 3-pointers, the second most by any Bearcat in UC history. His 33-point effort is the third-highest scoring performance by any BIG EAST Conference player this season.
Since his promotion to the starting lineup in the fourth game of the season, Vaughn has averaged 16.6 points.
Vaughn has dished out five or more assists in eight games, with a single-game high of nine, and leads the squad with a 4.5 average.
Vaughn has the third-best scoring average at the 13-game mark of the season of any Cincinnati freshman.
VAUGHN MORE THAN A SCORER: Throughout his debut season, Deonta Vaughn has shown that he is more than just a scorer. The 6-1 freshman has ramped up the other facets of his game in recent contests. Vaughn has averaged 6.0 assists and 3.0 steals over his last three games. He dished out nine assists vs. North Carolina State on Dec. 23, the most by a Bearcat this season, and recorded six steals, which tied the third-highest single game mark by a Bearcat.
A STEAL IN TIME: Jamual Warren picked a timely moment to extend his streak of games with a steal during the Dec. 27 win over Miami. After sinking a short jumper to give UC a 54-52 lead with 2:14 to play, Warren stole the ball and dunked on a break-away layup to present the Bearcats with an insurmountable lead. The 6-2 junior finished with 15 points.
Warren, who has had at least one steal in every game and has had multiple steals in all but four contests, leads the Bearcats with his 2.2 average. Warren has made 12 steals over his last five games. He set a new career high when he recorded four steals in the Dec. 13 win over Xavier.
CRONIN OFF TO FAST START: Mick Cronin is off to one of the best starts of any first-year head coach in Cincinnati history. Cronin's 9-4 ledger is tied for the third-best start at the 10-game mark among new Bearcats coaches of the modern era (post World War II).
McGOWAN TRIPLES IN WIN: Cedric McGowan picked an opportune time to come out of his 3-point shooting slump. The 6-7 senior, who opened the season going 0-for-13 from behind the arc and entered the Dec. 13 contest vs. Xavier a mere 1-of-15 in 3-point field goals, missed his first three trey tries. In the final 1:20 of the first half, he sank a pair of 3s, the second with 10 seconds to play putting UC in the lead for good.
SO CLOSE: Cincinnati suffered two of its four losses by a combined total of three points. The Bearcats dropped a 91-90 decision to Wofford on Nov. 21 and suffered a 59-57 setback to UAB on Dec. 2. In both games, the winning points were scored on free throws in the final seven seconds and in both cases UC had a shot at the buzzer bounce off the rim.
The Bearcats have shot .477 from the field over their last two games to raise their season field goal percentage to .423. It is UC's highest two-game percentage since the team shot .540 and .475 in games vs. Wofford (Nov. 21) and Central Michigan (Nov. 25).
Cincinnati has turned on the pressure defense and has come up with 44 steals over the last five games. UC gathered a season-high 13 steals in the Dec. 23 win over North Carolina State.
The Bearcats forced a season-high 32 turnovers, three shy of the school record, in their Dec. 23 win over North Carolina State. UC scored 32 points off Wolfpack turnovers.
UC had averaged just 11.1 turnovers over its previous seven games prior to committing 18 turnovers vs. Ohio in its last outing.
After shooting just .567 (38-of-67) at the foul line over their first four games, the Bearcats have shot a .730 percentage (116-of-159) over their last eight contests. UC shot a season-high .800 vs. Ohio in its last outing.
Cincinnati has had a double digit rebounder in seven of its 13 games. John Williamson has reached double digits in three games--11 vs. Wofford, 13 vs. Temple and 16 vs. Ohio State. Marcus Sikes has a pair of double-digit performances, gathering 10 rebounds vs. Tennessee-Martin (11/11/06) and 10 vs. Miami (12/27/06). Marvin Gentry collected 10 rebounds in the opener vs. Howard and Cedric McGowan had 12 rebounds vs. High Point.
UC's 17 3-point field goals vs. Wofford (11/21/06) was the third-highest single game total while its 32 attempts was fifth-most. Half of UC's baskets were from behind the arc.
The Bearcats have had six double-double performances this season. John Williamson owns three of those twin doubles, having totalled 19 points and 11 rebounds vs. Wofford (11/21/06), 15 points and 13 rebounds vs. Temple (12/9/06) and 17 points and 16 rebounds vs. Ohio State (12/16/06). Marcus Sikes has a pair with 18 points and 10 rebounds vs. Tennessee-Martin (11/11/06) and 15 points and 10 rebounds vs. Miami (12/27/06). Cedric McGowan recorded 13 points and 12 rebounds vs. High Point (11/12/06).
Cincinnati has held five of its foes to 52 or fewer points. The Bearcats limited Howard to 39 points in the season opener, the fewest allowed by the Bearcats since an 89-37 victory over Southern Miss. on Feb. 15, 2002.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Bearcats return home to open BIG EAST Conference play with a Sunday, Jan. 7 home date vs. Rutgers. Tip-off is 2 p.m. Cincinnati plays its first BIG EAST road game at USF on Jan. 14.