Men's Basketball Faces Gonzaga in Maui Championship Game


Men's Basketball |

Nov. 25, 2009

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Game 5: EA Sports Maui Invitational

Wednesday, Nov. 25 få 10 p.m. EST u Lahaina Civic Center (2,400) u Lahaina, Hawai'i u TV: ESPN u Radio: 700 WLW                       



The Cincinnati Bearcats (4-0, 0-0 BIG EAST) advanced to the championship game of the 2009 EA Sports Maui Invitational with a 69-57 victory over No. 21/22 Maryland and will face Gonzaga University (4-1, 0-0 West Coast) on Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 10 p.m. EST at the Lahaina Civic Center. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN with Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery, and Jay Bilas handling the call. Dan Hoard (p-b-p) and Chuck Machock (color) will call the game on 700 WLW.



Cincinnati and Gonzaga have met twice with the series tied at 1-1. The Bearcats won the first meeting on Dec. 4, 1999 as UC defeated the Bulldogs, 75-68, in the Rock-N-Roll Shootout in Cleveland, Ohio. Gonzaga won the other meeting, 74-69, knocking Cincinnati out of the 2003 NCAA Tournament West Regional in Salt Lake City, Utah.



The Bearcats return to the mainland and take on Texas Southern on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Fifth Third Arena. UC is 2-0 vs. TSU in the series and beat the Tigers, 82-51, last year in Fifth Third Arena.



·          After opening up the season with wins over Prairie View A&M (Nov. 16) and Toledo (Nov. 18) at home, the Bearcats traveled over 4,000 miles to 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 knocked off a pair of nationally-ranked opponents in No. 24/24 Vanderbilt and No. 21/22 Maryland to earn a spot in the championship game.

·          Sophomore forward Yancy Gates has been the star for the Bearcats in the first two games, averaging 16.5 points and 11.5 rebounds.

·          By advancing to the championship game vs. Gonzaga, UC is looking to become the first team since Dayton, a fellow Ohio university, in 2003, to win the tournament in its first appearance. The Flyers beat the hometown team, the University of Hawai'i, in the championship game, 82-72.

·          This is Cincinnati's fifth trip to the Hawaiian Islands for an early-season tournament. They played in the 1975-76, 1989-90 and 1994-95 Rainbow Classics hosted by the University of Hawaii and won the 1999-00 Big Island Invitational tournament.

·          UC owns a record of 9-5 in the islands. A complete listing of Cincinnati's tournament history in Hawai'i is on page 2 of these game notes.



·          Cincinnati defeated No. 21/22 Maryland, 69-57, to advance to the Championship game of the 2009 EA Sports Maui Invitational in its first appearance in the tournament.

·          The Bearcats evened the all-time series between Maryland and Cincinnati at 2-2.

·          The win marked the first time since the 1999-00 season that Cincinnati has defeated back-to-back ranked opponents. 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.

·          The Bearcats shot 44.3 percent from the field and held the Terps to 35.8 percent shooting from the field.

·          UC went 11-for-17 (.647) from the line compared to just 17-for-31 (.548) for Maryland.

·          Cincinnati outrebounded Maryland, 47-33, and improved to 4-0 on the season when outrebounding its opponent. It is the third time in four games UC has posted 40 or more rebounds in a game.

·          A 9-1 Bearcats' run from the 11:19 mark to the 9:19 mark of the second half gave Cincinnati its largest lead of the game, 53-36.

·          The 18 first-half points given up by UC is the lowest first-half point total since allowing just 16 points in the first half against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Dec. 22, 2008.

·          Cincinnati shot 40.6 (13-of-32) percent from the field in the first half, while holding Maryland to 28.0 percent (7-25) shooting from the floor.

·          A put-back by Dion Dixon with three seconds to play in the first half gave the Bearcats a 31-18 lead entering the break. Cincinnati closed out the last 9:26 of the first half on a 20-4 run.

·          Trailing 14-11, Cincinnati held Maryland scoreless from the 9:26 mark to the 3:14 mark of the first half and went on a 14-0 run to take a 25-14 lead with 3:13 remaining in the half. Deonta Vaughn and Lance Stephenson combined to score all 14 points with Vaughn scoring 10 of the 14.

·          Sophomore Yancy Gates finished with 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for his second straight double-double, marking the first time in his career he has posted back-to-back double-doubles.

·          Senior Deonta Vaughn added 16 points and five assists.

·          Freshman Lance Stephenson scored 11 points, posted season highs for rebounds (8) and assists (4), and had two steals and a block.

·          For the second night in a row, sophomore Dion Dixon was a spark off the bench, scoring eight points and corralling five rebounds. He is averaging 10.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in the Maui Invitational.

·          From the 9:06 mark to the 6:42 mark of the first half, Vaughn scored eight straight points for the Bearcats, including two 3-pointers, to give UC a 19-14 lead with 6:42 to play in the first half. 

·          Stephenson and Gates combined to hit four of their first six shots and scored all of UC's first nine points of the game.


·          Cincinnati is 114-166 (.407) all-time vs. opponents ranked in the Associated Press Top 25.

·          UC's wins over No. 24/24 Vanderbilt and No. 21/22 Maryland in the first and second rounds of 2009 EA Sports Maui Invitational marked the first time since the 1999-00 season that Cincinnati has defeated ranked opponents in consecutive games. In 1999-00, UC defeated No. 25 Gonzaga, 75-68, on Dec. 4, 1999, before defeating No. 7 North Carolina, 77-68, on Dec. 8, 1999.

·          The last time UC upset ranked opponents in back-to-back opportunities was 2007-08 when head coach Mick Cronin led the Bearcats to a pair of home wins vs. No. 19 Villanova (Jan. 12), 69-66, and No. 15 Pittsburgh, 62-59 (Jan. 19). UC lost to an unranked Notre Dame squad in between the two wins.

·          UC is 4-16 vs. ranked opponents under Cronin.



·          For the season, Cincinnati is shooting 44.1 percent from the floor (115-of-261). If you remove the Bearcats 3-point shooting at 27.3 percent (24-of-88) and look at just its shooting from inside the arc, UC is knocking down 52.6 percent (91-of-173) of its attempts.

·          The Bearcats are out-rebounding its opponents 46.2 to 31.3 per game, including 68-40 on the offensive glass. Last year, Cincinnati (14.3 rpg) finished third behind West Virginia (15.2 rpg) and Pittsburgh (14.8) in the BIG EAST in overall offensive rebounds and ahead of fourth place Connecticut (14.2).




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