Home Regular Season Finale: Bearcats vs. Wildcats

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Men's Basketball |

March 2, 2010

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Game 29: No. 9/9 VILLANOVA AT Cincinnati

Tuesday, March 2 | 7 p.m. | Fifth Third Arena (13,156) | Cincinnati, Ohio | TV: ESPN2 | Radio: 700 WLW

 

THE MATCH-UP

With two games remaining before the start of the BIG EAST Championship in New York City, the Cincinnati Bearcats (16-12, 7-9 BIG EAST) return home to Fifth Third Arena for their final regular-season home-game on Tuesday, March 2 at 7 p.m. vs. No. 9/9 Villanova. In pregame ceremonies, the men’s basketball program will recognize its two senior players — Deonta Vaughn, a two-time all-BIG EAST performer, and senior center Steve Toyloy. Villanova is looking to get back on track after losing three of its last four games, including a 95-77 decision last Saturday at Syracuse. Tuesday’s game will be telecast on ESPN2 with John Saunders (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst) handling the call. Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Chuck Machock (analyst) will call the game on 700 WLW.

 

THE SERIES

The series with Villanova dates back to 1947 when the two schools met for the first time at Music Hall in Cincinnati with Villanova winning, 70-68. After the inaugural meeting it was not until the 2005-06 season, after UC joined the BIG EAST, the two would meet again. Villanova has since won three of the last four meetings. UC’s lone win came in 2007-08 when it knocked off the then-No. 19 Wildcats, 69-66, on a Rashad Bishop 3-pointer with 22 seconds left.

 

SCOUTING THE WILDCATS

·         Villanova is ranked No. 9 in both the Associated Press poll and ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll heading into this week and owns a record of 23-5 overall and 12-4 in the BIG EAST.

·         VU clinched a bye to the Quarterfinals of the 2010 BIG EAST Conference Tournament and sits in second in the BIG EAST.

·         The Wildcats started the season 20-1 overall and 9-0 in the BIG EAST, but have lost four of its last seven games, including a 95-77 loss to the new No. 1 team in the nation, Syracause, on Feb. 27.

·         Villanova is 7-4 away from home this season, including 5-3 in conference action.

·         The Wildcats are first in the BIG EAST in scoring offense, averaging 83.6 points per game, led by the BIG EAST’s fifth-leading scorer Scottie Reynolds (18.9 ppg).

·         Reynolds is one of three VU players averaging in double-figures (Corey Fisher - 13.8 ppg; Antonio Pena -11.1).

·         Pena (7.5 rpg) and Taylor King (5.8 rpg) are the team’s top two rebounders.

·         Villanova is the top free throw shooting team in the BIG EAST (75.6 percent).

·         In addition to his scoring, Reynolds ranks among the BIG EAST Top 10 in free throw percentage (.827), steals (1.64), 3-point field goal percentage (.409),  and 3-point field goals made (2.18).

·         Villanova ranks third in the BIG EAST in rebounding margin at +5.7, 1.2 rebounds off Cincinnati who ranks second in the conference in rebounding margin.

 

CURRENT BEARCATS VS. VILLANOVA

·         Senior guard Deonta Vaughn is the only current Bearcats to average double figures vs. Villanova. Vaughn has averaged 13.2 ppg in three career games vs. VU, including a 25-point performance in a 69-66 win in Fifth Third Arena on Jan. 12, 2008.

·         In his only game against Villanova, sophomore Yancy Gates scored nine points and seven rebounds against the Wildcats.

 

HITTING THE GLASS

·         The match up of Villanova vs. Cincinnati will feature two of the conferences top three rebounding teams.

·         Villanova is 18th in the nation averaging 39.8 rebounds per game and a +5.6 rebounding margin (23rd in the NCAA - through Feb. 28).

·         Cincinnati is 26th in the NCAA in rebounds per game with 39.4 per game and owns a +6.9 rebounding margin, which is tied for 11th in the nation.

·         Both teams fare extremely well rebounding on the offensive end of the floor with the Wildcats ranking 28th in the country with 14.1 offensive rebounds per game and the Bearcats tied for 48th with 13.4 rpg.

 

IT’S ALL ABOUT DEFENSE AND REBOUNDING

·         Two of the hallmarks of the University of Cincinnati program over the last 20 years has been the team’s propensity to play defense and rebound.

·         Those two core values have gone a long way in determining the winner of the last four games between UC and VU.

·         Last season, Villanova shot 51 percent from the field and outrebounded UC 36-33 en route to a 71-50 triumph.

·         Cincinnati’s only win in the series came in the 2007-08 season, when Cincinnati dominated the glass, 38-28 to win 69-66 in Fifth Third Arena.

·         The team that wins the rebounding battle is 4-0 in the last four meetings between the schools.

 

FEB. 27 — WEST VIRGINIA GAME NOTES

·         Down by 10 early in the second half, West Virginia dominated the glass in the final 20 minutes and rallied for 74-68 victory over Cincinnati.

·         The loss snapped UC’s two game winning streak vs. WVU. The Bearcats lead the all-time series 10-7.

·         After tying the game at 56 on a Lance Stephenson lay-up with 10:03, Cincinnati went the next 9:14 without a field goal until a Deonta Vaughn 3-pointer with 0:49 left.

·         After being tied with UC with 15 rebounds at halftime, the Mountaineers outrebounded the Bearcats, 26-15, in the second half for a 41-30 advantage overall.

·         Cincinnati committed 10 turnovers to WVU’s 14 and outscored West Virginia 20-13 on points off turnovers. The Bearcats are now 6-5 when committing fewer turnovers that it’s opponents.

·         UC knocked down seven of 10 3-pointers in the first half after going 0-for-9 in its last game vs. DePaul. Cincinnati finished 9-of-21 (42.9 percent), going 2-for-11 in the second half.

·         After posting his first career double-double in his last game vs. DePaul, Lance Stephenson came up one board short of another at West Virginia, posting 14 points and a team-high nine rebounds. He also added three assists.

·         After going his last two games without scoring in double digits, Deonta Vaughn recorded 15 against West Virginia - his most points in over a month (20 vs. USF, Jan. 20). He also grabbed five rebounds and dished out a game-high tying five assists.

·         Yancy Gates posted his third straight double-figure night scoring 10 points off the bench on 5-of-9 shooting. Gates was limited to 20 minute of action due to foul trouble.

 

GETTING DOWN TO THE END

·         With two games remaining in the regular season and an NCAA Tournament bid on the line, the Cincinnati Bearcats are into one of the toughest portions of their schedule.

·         Over the final three weeks of the season, UC faces three of the nation’s top 20 teams (No. 10/8 West Virginia, No. 9/9 Villanova, and No. 19/20 Georgetown).

·         UC’s final two opponents own a combined record of 42-13 (.764).

·         The Bearcats faced No. 8/7 West Virginia in their last game in Morgantown and fell to the Mountaineers 74-68.

 

RESUME BUILDING — UC VS. RANKED OPPONENTS

·         The Bearcats are ranked No. 58 in the RPI (as of Feb. 28) thanks to having the nation’s 17th toughest schedule, which includes 14 teams in RPI Top 65.

·         UC is 3-3 vs. teams ranked in the AP Poll this season after knocking off No. 24/24 Vanderbilt and No. 21/22 Maryland in the first and second rounds of the 2009 EA Sports Maui Invitational, respectively, and No. 10/10 Connecticut at home on Dec. 30. The losses were to No. 23 Pittsburgh, 74-71, on Jan. 4 (Cincinnati’s first at home this season), to No. 3 Syracuse, 71-54, on Feb. 7, and No. 8 West Virginia, 74-68, on Feb. 27.

·         Cincinnati is 114-171 (.400) all-time vs. opponents ranked in the Associated Press Top 25, including a 23-22 (.511) record in Fifth Third Arena.

·         The wins vs. Vanderbilt and Maryland marked the first time since the 1999-00 season that Cincinnati defeated ranked opponents in consecutive games. That year, UC defeated No. 25 Gonzaga 75-68 on Dec. 4, 1999, before defeating No. 7 North Carolina 77-68 on Dec. 8, 1999.

·         UC is 6-19 vs. ranked opponents under Cronin.

 

FIFTH THIRD ADVANTAGE

·         The Bearcats are 278-58 (.827) in games at Fifth Third Arena since the building opened in 1989-90.

·         Under Mick Cronin, UC is 41-23 in Fifth Third (.641).

·         UC is 12-3 at home and 11-3 in Fifth Third Arena this season. The Miami (OH) game is considered a home game despite being played at U.S. Bank Arena.

·         The seven consecutive wins to start the year matched the best home winning streak for the Bearcats since 2004-05, when they won nine games, spanning two seasons.

·         The Bearcats are averaging 75.7 points per game at home led by Lance Stephenson’s 11.8 points per game and Deonta Vaughn’s 10.8 average.

 

 


 

 

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