Men's Basketball Opens 2009-10 vs. Prairie View A&M


Men's Basketball |

Nov. 15, 2009

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Game 1: Prairie View A&M

Monday, Nov. 16 n 7:30 p.m. ET n Fifth Third Arena (13,176) n Cincinnati, Ohio                       



The Cincinnati Bearcats (0-0, 0-0 BIG EAST) open their 109th season of basketball and fourth under head coach Mick Cronin on Monday, Nov. 16 vs. Prairie View A&M (0-0, 0-0 SWAC) at 7:30 p.m. EST in Fifth Third Arena. The game will air on 700 WLW with Dan Hoard and Chuck Machock handling the call. The game will not be televised but a webcast will be available through’s CATSVISION All-Access.



This is the first meeting between the University of Cincinnati and Prairie View A&M University. UC owns an 8-0 record vs. teams from the South Western Athletic Conference (SWAC), including wins over Texas Southern and Arkansas-Pine Bluff last season.



The Bearcats have a quick turnaround after Prairie View A&M as they host the University of Toledo on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. The game will be Cincinnati’s 2009-10 debut on FOX Sports Ohio. Michael Reghi and Anthony Buford will call the action.



·          Prairie View A&M is 1-0 after knocking off Schreiner University, 91-47, in its season opener on Saturday, Nov. 14.

·          Senior forward Darnell Hugee, the team’s top returning scorer and rebounder, led the Panthers in both categories in the opener with 20 points and five rebounds vs. the Mountaineers.

·          Michael Green, a sophomore guard, and Grady Green, a junior forward, also scored in double digits with 15 and 13 points, respectively.

·          The Panthers dished out 26 assists vs. Schreiner, including 12 from senior guard Christopher Jones who averaged 7.3 apg last season.

·          Prairie View shot 51.3 percent from the field, going 39-of-76.

·          The Panthers, who where 78th in the nation in steals per game last year, made 11 steals vs. the Moutaineers in the opener and caused 24 turnovers in the win.



·          The Bearcats own an 8-0 all-time record against teams currently in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).

·          This will be the first time UC and Prairie View A&M have faced each other.

·          Head coach Mick Cronin is 7-0 against SWAC teams in his career, including 5-0 vs. Jacksonville State. He earned his first two wins against SWAC schools while at UC last year, beating Texas Southern, 82-51, on Nov. 18 and Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 79-49, on Dec. 22.



·          Cincinnati defeated Bellarmine, 76-69, outscoring   Bellarmine, 26-6, on second-chance points.

·          The Bearcats out-rebounded the Knights, 44-31, including a 22-8 offensive rebounding advantage.

·          Nine players played at least 10 minutes for the Bearcats led by Deonta Vaughn’s 28 minutes.

·          Bellarmine closed out the final 2:41 of the contest on a 10-1 run, but the Bearcats held on, 76-69.

·          After Bellarmine cut the UC lead to five points, 64-59, with 6:50 remaining, the Bearcats held the Knights without a field goal for the next 3:40 and went on an 11-0 run to open a 75-59 lead with 3:10 to play.

·          Following a senior Steve Toyloy dunk to start the half, Bellarmine went on a 9-2 run over a 2:35 stretch to cut UC’s lead to seven points, 43-36, with 16:22 to play.

·          Cincinnati went on a 14-3 run from the 11:25 mark to the 6:48 mark of the first half to open a 24-11 lead. Freshman guard Lance Stephenson scored seven points, including two 3-pointers, during the surge.

·          Junior Darnell Wilks led all players with 12 points in the first half on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting from the floor. Wilks finished with 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

·          Senior Steve Toyloy and sophomore Yancy Gates combined to score 14 points and grab 14 rebounds for the Bearcats frontcourt.

·          Freshmen Lance Stephenson and Cashmere Wright also scored in double figures scoring 15 points and 10 points, respectively.

·          Box score in statistics portion of these game notes.



·          Cincinnati scored 40 points in the paint and scored 22 points off of turnovers in an 86-58 win in UC’s first exhibition vs. Saginaw Valley State.

·          The Bearcats were 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the second half and finished the game 9-for-12 from the charity stripe.  Sophomore forward Yancy Gates finished the game a perfect 6-for-6.

·          All 15 Bearcats saw the court and 11 scored. Sophomore forward Yancy Gates (16), sophomore guard Dion Dixon (12), and senior guard Deonta Vaughn (10) scored in double figures for UC.

·          Freshman forward Lance Stephenson was certified by the NCAA just hours before the game and scored on his first possession. He finished the game with nine points and four rebounds. 

·          Redshirt freshman guard Cashmere Wright dished out seven assists in his first game in a Bearcat uniform.

·          Dion Dixon was 2-for-4 from behind the arc and finished with 12 points and three rebounds.

·          Junior forward Darnell Wilks scored nine points, including an alley-oop dunk, and pulled down four rebounds.

·          Box score in statistics portion of these game notes.



·          The regular-season opener vs. Prairie View A&M officially begins the 109th season of UC men’s basketball.

·          Basketball formally debuted as a selected varsity team in 1901-02, playing nine games and finishing with a 5-4 record.

·          UC owns a record of 1,562-920 (.628) all-time. UC rank 22nd in NCAA Division I history in wins.

·          Cincinnati owns a record of 87-21 (.806) in season openers, including a 76-10 (.884) mark at home.

·          The Red and Black are 27-2 in its last 29 season openers with the two losses coming at home in 2001-02 vs. Oklahoma State, 69-62, and in 2007-08 vs. Belmont, 86-75.

·          The Bearcats are 15-2 (.882) in season openers since Fifth Third Arena at the Shoemaker Center opened in 1989-90 with a 66-64 win over Minnesota on Nov. 25.

·          UC is 90-17 (.841) in home openers (during the 1906-07 season UC did not play a home game) and has won 43 of its last 44 home debuts dating back to 1965-66. The lone loss was to Belmont, 86-75, in 2007-08.

·          Complete listings of UC season openers and home openers are included in these game notes.



·          For the first time since joining the BIG EAST Conference in 2005-06, the University of Cincinnati was picked to finish in the upper division of the league in the preseason poll being selected to finish seventh by the coaches.

·          The Bearcats also earned individual preseason honors as senior guard Deonta Vaughn earned first-team all-BIG EAST plaudits and freshman Lance Stephenson was named the league’s Rookie of the Year.


2009-10 BIG EAST Preseason Coach’s Poll

Rk.                             Team     Result

1.                   Villanova (10)     218

2.                West Virginia (5)     215

3.                  Connecticut (1)     185

4.                           Louisville     179

5.                       Georgetown     161

6.                           Syracuse     152

7.                          Cincinnati     135

8.                       Notre Dame     132

9.                          Pittsburgh     119

10.                        Seton Hall     110

11.                         St. John’s     82

12.                        Marquette     78

13.                       Providence     52

14.                                 USF     44

15.                           Rutgers     43

16.                            DePaul     15


2009-10 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year

Luke Harangody, Notre Dame


2009-10 BIG EAST Preseason Rookie of the Year

Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati, F


2009-10 Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team

Luke Harangody, Notre Dame, F, Sr.

Deonta Vaughn, Cincinnati, G, Sr.

Greg Monroe, Georgetown, C, So.

Lazar Hayward, Marquette, F, Sr.

Scottie Reynolds, Villanova, G, Sr.

Da’Sean Butler, West Virginia, F, Sr.



·          After opening up with Prairie View A&M (Nov. 16) and Toledo (Nov. 18), the Bearcats will make their first appearance in the EA Sports Maui Invitational hosted by Chaminade University on Nov. 23-25 at the Lahaina Civic Center.

·          The Bearcats open the tournament vs. SEC opponent Vanderbilt on Nov. 23 at 5:30 p.m. before facing either Maryland from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) or Chaminade from the Pacific West Conference (Pac West) in the second round on Nov. 24. Cincinnati will take on a team from other side of the bracket (Arizona, Colorado, Gonzaga, or Wisconsin) in the third round on Nov. 25.

·          It will be Cincinnati’s fourth trip to the Hawaiian Islands for an early-season tournament. They played in the 1975-76 and 1989-90 Rainbow Classics hosted by the University of Hawaii and won the 1999-00 Big Island Invitational tournament.

·          UC owns a record of 6-3 in the islands.



·          Senior guard Deonta Vaughn has started his first three years at Cincinnati for head coach Mick Cronin where he has twice been named all-BIG EAST Conference (1st team in 2007-08; 3rd team in 2008-09) and lead the team in points and assists all three years.

·          Last year in the season opener he became the 45th player in school history to score 1,000 points in his career.

·          Currently ranks 14th in career scoring at UC with 1,476 points, Vaughn needs 22 points to tie Robert Miller (1974-78) for 13th on the all-time list.

·          Vaughn is also 19 assists short of tying Damon Flint’s (1993-97) 407 career assists for fifth on the list.



·          Just prior to the University of Cincinnati’s first exhibition game on Nov. 5 vs. Saginaw Valley State, freshman forward Lance Stephenson was certified by the NCAA to begin competing immediately.

·          Stephenson was the last of UC’s five true freshmen to cleared by the NCAA. He is joined by fellow NLI signees Sean Kilpatrick and Jaquon Parker and walk-ons Alex Eppensteiner and Anthony McBride.

·          Stephenson, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound forward who was named the 2009 BIG EAST Conference Preseason Rookie of the Year, committed to the Bearcats on June 30 after a highly-decorated prep career at Lincoln High School (Brooklyn, N.Y.), where he averaged 28.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists to earn Class AA New York State Sports Writers Association (NYSSWA) Player of the Year honors his senior year. He graduated high school as the all-time leading scorer in the history of the state of New York with 2,946 points, passing fellow Lincoln High grad Sebastian Telfair, who was the 13th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft and now plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

·          In 2008-09, Stephenson led Lincoln to an overall record of 22-11 and an unprecedented fourth consecutive Public School Athletic League (PSAL) Class AA championship. He scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a 78-56 victory over John F. Kennedy in the league championship game. Stephenson, a three-time NYSSWA first-team selection, led the Railsplitters to state semifinals appearances his final three seasons, including Federation Tournament championships in 2007 and 2008.

·          Selected to play in the 2009 McDonald’s All-American Game, Stephenson finished his high school career with 12 points, six assists and three steals as his East squad knocked off the West, 113-110, in the annual high school all-star showcase.

·          Stephenson commented, “I am happy to be able to put this behind me,” said Stephenson. “Since I committed to the Bearcats back in the summer, all I have wanted to do was get here and start playing ball with my teammates. I want to thank everyone that has given me encouragement and support during this, especially my family, coaches and teammates. They have been with me every step.”



·          In last year’s season opener vs. South Dakota, Yancy Gates posted 16 points and 11 rebounds in his collegiate debut. He was the first UC freshman to post a double-double in his first college game since Dontonio Wingfield (30 points, 12 rebounds) vs. Butler in 1993. Wingfield’s 30 points vs. the Bulldogs broke Oscar Robertson’s freshman single-game scoring record.

·          Junior forward Darnell Wilks, who scored 19 of his 63 points last season in the final three games, has averaged 12.5 points per game in two exhibitions for UC this year. That includes 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting vs. Bellarmine on Nov. 12.

·          Redshirt freshman point guard Cashmere Wright, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, posted 6.5 points and 4.5 assists per game in UC’s two preseason contests.

·          larney, who was leading the BIG EAST in 3-pointers made per game (4.05) and was third in 3-point percentage (.458) heading into his match-up with UC, went  0-for-5 from three and 2-for-12 from the field.

·          Against the Mountaineers, the Bearcats held WVU to  4-of-21 (19.3 percent) shooting from three, marking the fifth time this season a UC opponent has shot below 20 percent from behind the arc.





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