Men's Basketball Hosts Georgetown
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Jan. 28, 2009

GAME 21: No. 25/23 Georgetown AT Cincinnati

Wednesday, Jan. 28 l 7:30 p.m. EST l Fifth Third Arena (13,176) l Cincinnati, Ohio l ESPN360.com


 

 

 

THE MATCH-UP

The Cincinnati Bearcats (13-7; 3-4 BIG EAST) return home to take on Georgetown University (12-6; 3-4 BIG EAST) on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m., after winning two out of three on a recent road trip with victories at DePaul, 59-55, and St. John’s, 71-60. The game will be televised on ESPN360.com. Jim Barbar will call the play-by-play with Anthony Buford handling the analysis. The Bearcats are coming off their fourth come-from-behind victory of the year at St. John’s last Thursday thanks to 20 second-half points by Deonta Vaughn. The Hoyas have struggled in the competitive BIG EAST Conference since winning its league opener at Connecticut on Jan. 3, losing four of its last six, including their last three straight. The last game out at Seton Hall, Georgetown lost to the Pirates, 65-60, despite 17 points and seven rebounds from freshman Greg Monroe.

 

THE SERIES

Wednesday’s game will be only the fifth between Cincinnati and Georgetown.  The two teams first met in 2005-06, UC’s first season in the BIG EAST Conference. The Hoyas have won all four games, including last year’s 73-53 victory at home in the Verizon Centeron Feb. 23, 2008.

 

SCOUTING GEORGETOWN

·         Georgetown owns a record of 12-6 overall and 3-4 in the BIG EAST Conference.

·         The Hoyas are ranked No. 25 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

·         After winning its BIG EAST opener at Connecticut on Jan. 3, 70-54, Georgetown has dropped four of its last six, including three straight.

·         Georgetown is 3-4 in away/neutral site games this year.

·         The Hoyas lost at Seton Hall on Jan. 25, 65-60, despite 17 points and seven rebounds from freshman standout Greg Monroe.

·         Junior forward DaJuan Summers leads the squad in scoring with 15.1 ppg and is one of four players averaging in double figures. Summers is joined by Monroe (13.3 ppg), Austin Freeman (12.6 ppg), and Chris Wright (12.0 ppg).

·         Georgetown is 11th in the BIG EAST in overall scoring, one spot ahead of Cincinnati, averaging 72.8 ppg.

·         Defensively, the Hoyas are sixth in the BIG EAST in scoring defense (64.0 ppg), also one spot ahead of UC.

·         Monroe leads Georgetown in rebounding, posting 6.4 boards per game, and is second in assists (2.7 apg).

·         GU is fourth in the BIG EAST in shooting percentage, connecting on 47.3 percent of its shots from the field. The Hoyas also rank third in free throw percentage (.728) and 10th in 3-point shooting (.324).

·         Georgetown owns a rebounding margin of -0.3 (34.2-33.9) which ranks 14th in the conference.

·         The Hoyas defense forces 14.6 turnovers a game in large part to its 8.0 steals per contest.

 

ST. JOHN’S GAME NOTES - JAN. 22

·         Trailing 51-40 with 13:16 to play, Cincinnati ended the game on a 31-9 run to defeat St. John’s, 71-60. During that stretch, Cincinnati held St. John’s to 2-of-17 shooting from the floor.

·         Cincinnati outscored STJ 21-5 in points off turnovers and 20-0 in bench points.

·         UC moved to 4-7 on the year when trailing at the half.

·         Cincinnati trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half, marking the third time this season UC has overcome a double-figure deficit to win. The Bearcats overcame 16- and 15-point deficits vs. Rutgers (1/14) and Eastern Kentucky (12/20), respectively.

·         UC improved to 11-2 when scoring 70-plus points and earned its first win of the season when being outrebounded by their opponent.

·         The Red Storm connected on 14-of-31 (45.2 percent) free throws, while Cincinnati went 15-of-22 from the charity stripe (68.2 percent).

·         The Bearcats went 12-of-27 (44.4 percent) from the field in the second half and held St. John’s to 6-of-22 shooting in the second half (27.3 percent). The Red Storm shot 13-of-23 (56.5 percent) in the first half.

·         UC shot 1-of-11 (9.1 percent) from 3-point land in the first half, while St. John’s went 7-of-10 from three. The Red Storm also outrebounded UC, 20-9, in the first half.

·         An 11-0 St. John’s run from the 3:00 mark to the 1:10 mark gave the Red Storm a 37-25 lead and St. John’s took a 39-28 lead heading into halftime.

·         Junior Deonta Vaughn scored 20 of his game-high 23 points in the second half, marking his fifth 20-plus point game of the season. Vaughn added five rebounds, five assists, and a season-high tying three steals.

·         For the second time this season and the ninth time in his career, Vaughn bounced back from a single-digit point performance with a 20-plus point outing.

·         Trailing by three points, 55-52, with 7:50 to play, Vaughn scored 10 straight points for Cincinnati over the next 3:17 to give the Bearcats a six-point lead, 62-56, with 4:33 remaining.

·         After scoring five points in the last two games, sophomore Rashad Bishop posted a career-high 15 points, his third double-figure scoring game of season, including six points in the first 7:01 of the game.

·         Freshman Yancy Gates added 11 points and five rebounds, his 12th double-figure scoring game of the season.

 

UC VS. RANKED OPPONENTS

·         Cincinnati is 112-163 (.407) all-time vs. opponents ranked in the Associated Press Top 25, including a 21-19 (.525) record in Fifth Third Arena.

·         The Bearcats are 2-1 vs. teams ranked No. 25 in the polls.

·         Georgetown has been ranked in three of its four meetings vs. Cincinnati — twice ranked No. 12 and once as No. 21. The only match-up the Hoyas were unranked was Jan. 27, 2007.

·         UC is 0-4 vs. teams ranked in either the AP or ESPN/USAToday Coaches Poll this season and 0-2 vs. teams ranked in the Associated Press Poll.

·         Last season, head coach Mick Cronin led the Bearcats to a pair of home wins vs. ranked teams, beating No. 19 Villanova, 69-66, and No. 15 Pittsburgh, 62-59.

·         UC is 2-12 vs. ranked opponents under Cronin.

 

GETTING FAMILIAR

·         As part of the BIG EAST’s 18-game league schedule, Cincinnati will face Providence, St. John’s, and Georgetown in a home-and-home series this season.

·         Five games into the BIG EAST schedule, the Bearcats finished their season series with Providence, losing twice to the Friars within 10 days — 87-79 on Jan. 7 and 72-63 on Jan. 17.

·         UC started its series vs. St. John’s last week and faces Georgetown tonight. The return trips are on Feb. 7 vs. the Hoyas and Feb. 11 vs. the Red Storm.

 

GROWING UP ON THE ROAD

·         One thing a young team has to learn as it grows up is how to win on the road, especially in conference play. This season, the Bearcats are showing signs of a maturing team as they are 4-4 overall away from Fifth Third Arena and 2-2 in BIG EAST play.

·         Cincinnati’s most league victories on the road as a member of the BIG EAST came last season going 3-6. UC is 7-22 on the road as a member of the BIG EAST.

 

FINDING HIS STRIDE

·         In Cincinnati’s last six games, freshman guard Dion Dixon has begun find his game and become more at ease vs. BIG EAST competition.

·         In the six games since scoring three points at Marquette on Jan. 4, Dixon is fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 8.0 points and 2.8 rebounds.

·         He equaled his career high for scoring at Providence (Jan. 19) with 14 points, including 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point range.

·         The 14-point output marked his fifth double-digit scoring effort of the season and his first in seven games since posting 11 points at home vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Dec. 22).

 

GOTTA GET TO THE LINE

·         Getting to the free throw line is always important, but for the Bearcats in BIG EAST play it has been even more of a deciding factor.

·         Since the start of league play, UC is 3-0 when getting to the line at least 20 times in a game.

·         In the last game at St. John’s, the Bearcats trailed the Red Storm, 39-28, at the half and was 1-for-1 from the line. In the second half, the Cincinnati found its way to the free throw line 21 times and converted on 14 as it battled from behind for a 71-60 win. Deonta Vaughn led the way going 7-for-10 from the charity stripe.

·         On the season, UC is 7-2 on the year when attempting 20 or more free throws in a game.

·         Cincinnati is also 4-0 this season when shooting 20 or more free throws in the second half.

 

PROTECT WHAT IS YOURS

·         Since equaling their season-high with 20 turnovers at Memphis (Dec. 29), the Bearcats have been making steady improvements protecting the basketball.

·         In its last seven games, UC has turned the ball over an average of 12.0 times per game (84 turnovers). 33 of the turnovers came in a two-game stretch vs. DePaul and Providence.

·         The Bearcats six turnovers vs. Rutgers (1/14) are a season low and equal the lowest total in Mick Cronin’s three years at UC (6, three times, last vs. USF in 2007-08).

·         Since the start of league play, the team’s best at protecting the ball on paper has been Rashad Bishop, who leads the BIG EAST with a 3.83 assist-turnover ratio.

 

“D-ING” IT UP

·         After getting behind by as many as 16 and trailing 36-29 at halftime to Rutgers on Jan. 14, head coach Mick Cronin went in search of his five best defenders to help Cincinnati come from behind and knock off the Scarlet Knights, 71-59.

·         In the second half, Cronin found his line-up as he went to a rotation of Deonta Vaughn, Larry Davis/Dion Dixon, Rashad Bishop, Mike Williams, and Steve Toyloy.

·         Cincinnati held Rutgers to 29.0 percent (9-of-31) shooting in the second half, including 1-for-10 from 3-point range. Mike Rosario, the Scarlet Knights top scorer, scored just one 3-pointer in the second half and was 1-of-10 from the floor.

·         UC outrebounded the Knights, 20-18, in the second half, led by Vaughn’s seven second-half boards. He finished with a career-high eight rebounds in the game.

·         The same lineup got the start vs. DePaul and the group did its job again as the Bearcats defeated the Blue Demons, 59-55.

·         UC held the Blue Demons to 25.0 percent shooting from three (4-of-16) and 1-of-8 shooting from deep in the second half.

·         At Providence, the group held the Friars, who had scorched the Bearcats with 12-of-24 shooting from 3-point range on Jan. 7, to 3-of-20 shooting (.150) from 3-point range in the second match-up.

·         The group started its third straight game at St. John’s and keyed the comeback with their defensive heroics. With the Bearcats trailing, 51-40, with 13:16 to play, Cincinnati rattled off 31 of the final 40 points to defeat the Red Storm, 71-60. During the final stretch, UC held St. John’s to 2-of-17 shooting from the floor.

 

TALE OF TWO SEASONS

·         Looking at the Bearcats statistically, UC has played two totally different seasons; one being the first 12 games of the year and the second, the eight games following the Christmas break.

·         UC started off the year winning 10 of 12 during its non-conference slate, picking up quality wins over UNLV (16-4), who has lost just twice since playing Cincinnati on Nov. 29, and Mississippi State (14-6), last year’s SEC West Division champion.

·         During the 12-game stretch to open the year, the Bearcats averaged 74.6 points compared to its opponents 60.2. UC held its opponents to 36.7 percent from the field and 30.1 percent from behind the 3-point line.

·         Since the break, the Bearcats are 3-5 and have struggled offensively and defensively, being outscored 69.8 to 63.8 a game. UC opponents are hitting 46.4 percent (198-of-427) of their shots, including 38.6 percent (56-of-145) from 3-point range.

·         After outrebounding opponents by 11.4 boards a night to start the year, UC being outrebounded by its opponents by 0.9 rebounds per game, 35.6 to 34.8, a decrease of 8.2 (43.4 to 35.0 ) rebounds a game for Cincinnati.

 

MORE HELP DOWN THE STRETCH

·         Last season junior guard Deonta Vaughn was called on more often than not to be the Bearcats go-to-man down the stretch of games, a role he excelled at averaging 7.2 points per game over the final 10 minutes.

·         With the addition of Mike Williams and the maturation of the team, he has not had to do as much this season and is averaging 3.3 ppg.

·         Last year after Vaughn, only John Williamson (2.8 ppg) averaged over two points per contest down the stretch.

·         Mike Williams has been the Bearcats leading scorer down the stretch this year, posting 3.9 points per contest. He has also received help from Dion Dixon (3.2), Vaughn (3.3 ppg), and Yancy Gates (2.3 ppg) who all average over two points per game during the stretch run.

·         In the 71-60 come-from-behind win at St. John’s, Vaughn returned to his old self, scoring 20 points in the second half including 11 in the final 10 minutes, shooting a perfect 2-for-2 from 3-point range.

 

BISHOP STEPS UP BIG IN BIG EAST

·         Since the start of BIG EAST Conference play, sophomore guard Rashad Bishop re-asserted himself as an all-around threat in the Bearcats starting line-up averaging, 8.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in his last seven games.

·         For the season, Bishop has put up 6.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists a night.

·         He notched his first double-figure scoring games of the year to start league play, posting 11 vs. Marquette (Jan. 4) and Providence (Jan. 7).

·         He posted a career-high 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting at St. John’s before fouling out with two technical fouls with just over 17 minutes to play in the game.

·         18 of his 31 rebounds in league play are from the offensive glass (2.6 offensive rpg).

·         Bishop has also taken care of the ball since the start of conference play, dishing out 23 assists, while committing just six turnovers.

·         His 3.83 assist-to-turnover ratio in conference-only games ranks first in the BIG EAST.

 

SPREADING THE WEALTH

·         Senior guard Deonta Vaughn has become more comfortable with his new role as the team’s point guard and has 56 assists in the last 11 games (5.1 apg).

·         He is fifth in overall and in conference-only games with 4.85 and 5.29 assists per game, respectively.

·         He has dished out five or more assists in four of his last five games.

·         With his 10 assists at Marquette on Jan. 4, Vaughn surpassed 300 assists for his career. He has 331 assists in his career and needs 76 more assists to reach Damon Flint’s 407 career assists, which ranks fourth on the all-time UC assists list.

·         Vaughn became the first player since Devan Downey on Dec. 30, 2005, to record 10-plus assists in a game after dishing out 10 assists at Marquette on Jan. 4.

 

BATTLING BACK

·         For the fourth time this season, the Bearcats battled back from a half-time deficit and beat St. John’s, 71-60, on Jan. 22. Trailing 51-40 with 13:16 to play, Cincinnati ended the game on a 31-9 run to defeat St. John’s, 71-60. During that stretch, Cincinnati held St. John’s to 2-of-17 shooting from the floor.

·         The win gives UC a record of 4-7 when trailing at the half.

·         On Jan. 14 vs. Rutgers, Cincinnati battled back from a half-time deficit for the third time this season and knocked off the Scarlet Knights, 71-59. The Bearcats trailed by as many as 16 to St. John’s in the first half, making it the second-largest come-from-behind victory in Mick Cronin’s tenure at UC.

·         UC’s other halftime comebacks this season came against UNLV (Nov. 29) and Eastern Kentucky (Dec. 20).

·         Cincinnati trailed Eastern Kentucky, 30-15, at 7:19 of the first half on Dec. 20 before mounting its comeback.

·         Trailing the Colonels, 73-71, an alley-oop dunk by Yancy Gates from Deonta Vaughn with 0.1 second left in regulation tied the game at 73, sending UC to its first overtime game this season and its first overtime game since March 2, 2008. The Bearcats went on a 12-4 run in overtime, including nine free throws, to pull out the dramatic victory.

·         The largest comeback under Cronin was vs. West Virginia in 2006-07. Down by as many as 17 points with 10:49 left in the first half, UC, led by 32 points by Marvin Gentry, fought all the way back and downed the Mountaineers, 96-83, in overtime.

 

BOUNCING BACK

·         For the first time in his career, senior guard Deonta Vaughn was held scoreless in Cincinnati’s loss to Marquette on Jan. 4, marking the 18th game in his career that he has been held to 10 points or less.

·         Vaughn rebounded against Providence on Jan. 7 posting his 16th career game with 20 or more points on 8-of-16 shooting. He also added a career-high tying seven rebounds.

·         After being held to six points vs. Providence a couple weeks later on Jan. 19, Vaughn bounced back again, this time with a game-high 23 points at St. John’s (Jan. 22) — 20 of which were scored in the second half.

·         For his career, Vaughn is averaging 16.9 points in games following single-digit point performance.

·         Nine times in his career Vaughn has followed up a single-digit point performance with a 20-plus point performance, including two 30-plus point performances.

·         He is averaging 18.3 ppg since being shutout, including three 20-point plus performances.

 

GATES LEADING THE WAY

·         Over the past 12 games, freshman Yancy Gates has begun to step up his game and provide UC a presence on the blocks.

·         Since the Dec. 13 match-up with then No. 10/9 Xavier, Gates is second on the team in scoring, averaging 11.1 points per game and leads the squad with 6.6 rebounds per contest.

·         During that stretch, Gates is also shooting 46.4 percent from the field (58-of-125).

·         After scoring just two points against Xavier on Dec. 13, Gates has turned in eight double-digit scoring nights in the past 12 games (vs. Charleston Southern (18), Mississippi State (12), Eastern Kentucky (17), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (14), Marquette (10), Connecticut (12), Providence (14), and St. John’s (11)).

·         For the season, Gates is the team’s third-leading scorer, averaging 10.1 points per game.

·         The Cincinnati native has had 12 double-figure scoring games this season and Cincinnati is 9-3 when he scores in double-figures.

·         His lone double-double of the season came in the season opener vs. South Dakota (Nov. 16).

 

HARD TIMES BEHIND THE LINE

·         Before their last eight games, the Bearcats were one of the better 3-point shooting teams in the BIG EAST knocking down 34.9 percent of its 3-point attempts.

·         During a four-game losing streak from Dec. 29 to Jan. 10, Cincinnati struggled from behind the arc, shooting 27.0 percent (20-of-74).

·         However, the Bearcats have slowly started to come out of their long range shooting woes by shooting 34.8 percent in the last four contests (24-of-69).

·         In the last four games, junior Deonta Vaughn is shooting 38.5 percent from behind the arc (10-of-26).