UC Basketball Rolls in first game of three in Canada, 89-58, vs. McGill|
Sept. 3, 2010
OTTAWA---A Cincinnati team came in and dominated inside the Ravens Nest. And this time it wasn't a convincing Bengals victory in Baltimore against Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco, and the NFL's Ravens.
In the first of a three-game Canadian exhibition tour, coach Mick Cronin brought his Cincinnati Bearcats to the campus of Carleton University in Ottawa, the host school for a preseason matchup between UC and McGill University. The arena is known as the Ravens Nest and UC felt at home in an 89-58 victory, after a while.
McGill opened up a 20-16 lead after the first quarter thanks to hot shooting from beyond the arc.
"They did a great job getting ready for us." Cronin said. "McGill hit a few threes early and it really boosted their confidence, but I'm really proud of our guys' effort."
From the second quarter on, the Bearcats outscored the Redmen, 73-38. UC eventually found a rhythm offensively by sharing the ball and finding cutters for easy baskets. The Bearcats shot 58% for the game and 64% in the second half. Twelve of the 14 Bearcats that played ended up in the scoring column.
Sophomore Jaquon Parker drew the start at point guard and led the Bearcats in scoring with 15 points.
"It's just preseason," Parker said, "No time to be getting a big head. I need to focus on the next time out and getting better."
Cashmere Wright played 13 minutes off the bench. "We've really been limiting him in practice," Cronin said. The sophomore had what the medical staff describes as a routine knee operation in the offseason.
Freshman Sean Kilpatrick said he was nervous about his first college game, even if it didn't count in the standings.
"To not play is really weird because I've been playing since I was three years old." Kilpatrick said.
Kilpatrick sat out last year as a Redshirt and scored 14 points in his debut. "The guys just told me to get the jitters out of the way right off the bat."
A hallmark of the Cronin era at UC has been outrebounding opponents. UC owned a 33-17 advantage on the glass and Ibrahima Thomas led the Bearcats with six rebounds.
Yancy Gates (9 points, 2 rebounds) spent part of August running on sand dunes in California. He says he lost 15 pounds in the training regimen and is already noticing the benefits of a leaner and more durable physique on the floor.
It appears Gates was also highlighted and underlined on the scouting report.
"It's good to play this team because they're so physical," said Gates. "They tug and pull. It was a good win for us."
McGill lost to Maine, 87-66, in its season opener on August 25.
The game was played using international rules. Instead of two halves, the teams played 4 10-minute quarters. Teams have eight seconds instead of 10 to cross the halfcourt line. There is also a wider lane.
On Saturday night, the Bearcats meet up with Carleton University at 6 p.m. EST at ScotiaBank Place, the home of the NHL's Ottawa Senators. Carleton has won the Canadian national championship in six of the past eight seasons.