Bearcats Welcome Georgia Southern On Tuesday
gobearcats.COM
Ibrahima Thomas

gobearcats.COM
Ibrahima Thomas
gobearcats.COM

Dec. 14, 2010

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Game 9: Georgia Southern at CINCINNATI

Tuesday, Dec. 14 -- 7 p.m. -- Fifth Third Arena (13,176) -- Cincinnati, Ohio

TV: FOX Sports Ohio -- Radio: 700 WLW

SCOUTING GEORGIA SOUTHERN: The Eagles (3-7), have played already two teams from the Big East, losing to both teams, at Notre Dame 61-98 on 11/12 and at South Florida 63-76 on 11/21. Freshman guard Eric Ferguson scored 22 points and 10 rebounds to help lift Georgia Southern to an 86-74 win over Brewton-Parker Saturday night at Hanner Fieldhouse. Ferguson, led the team in scoring and rebounding, recorded his first collegiate double-double. Georgia Southern University is a regional public university located in Statesboro, Georgia. Founded in 1906, it is part of the University System of Georgia and is the largest center of higher education in the southern half of Georgia offering 100 academic majors in a comprehensive array of baccalaureate degrees and master's and doctoral programs. The university is the fifth largest university in the University System of Georgia, with a fall 2009 enrollment of 19,086 students (Fall 2009).

THE SERIES VS. GEORGIA SOUTHERN: The match-up is the second time Cincinnati has played Georgia Southern. The Bearcats beat the Eagles on 12/12/1992 at Fifth Third Arena/Shoemaker Center W, 91-57. Curtis Bostic led the team with 16 points. Georgia Southern is located in Statesboro, GA, birthplace of former Bearcat basketball player and assistant coach Keith LeGree.

LAST TIME AT FIFTH THIRD: The Bearcats started the game on a 17-2 run that featured eight points by junior guard Dion Dixon. The run lasted 3:03 and ended at the 16:44 mark in the first. Cincinnati started the game 5-6 from three-point range. UC put up 56 points in the first half, tying the most points scored in one half in the Mick Cronin era (Feb. 4, 2009 vs. Notre Dame). The Bearcats made 14 three-pointers, the most by Cronin-coached UC team since Nov. 11, 2006 when they made 17 vs. Wofford. Seven different Bearcats made a three-point basket. All five UC starters scored in double figures. The last time five Bearcats scored 10 or more points in a game was Dec. 1, 2010 vs. Wright State. Cincinnati scored 19 second-chance points from 16 offensive rebounds. Senior forward Rashad Bishop went 7-7 shooting, including 3-3 from downtown, scoring 17 points in the first half. The three successful three-point baskets ties Bishop's single-game career high (last time Jan. 10, 2010 vs. Providence). Junior guard Dion Dixon scored 12 points in the first half, including eight during Cincinnati's 17-2 run that started the game, and finished the game with 15 points. Senior forward Darnell Wilks had five steals in the first half, setting a new single-game career high. His previous career high was three on Dec. 22, 2008 vs. Arkansas Pine Bluff. Sophomore guard Cashmere Wright went 5-9 from behind the arc and scored 15 points, setting a new single-game career high for threes made. Senior forward Ibrahima Thomas posted a double-double, with 11 points and a season-high 12 rebounds. The double-double is the second of Thomas' UC career (Feb. 13, 2010 at Connecticut - 10 points, 11 rebounds). He posted his first career double-double while at Oklahoma State.

LAST TIME ON THE ROAD: Dion Dixon scored 17 points and Cincinnati improved to 7-0 with an 81-47 rout of Toledo. The Bearcats jumped out to a 32-5 lead just nine minutes into the game hitting 11 of their first 13 shots, led 53-21 at the half and were never challenged. Cincinnati led by as many as 39 points in the second half. Eleven players scored for the Bearcats, and six had at least eight points. Cashmere Wright was the only other player in double figures with 10. Wright also added four assists, tying teammates Rashad Bishop, and JaQuon Parker for the team high. The Bearcats forced 18 turnovers which led to 21 points, and turned 12 offensive rebounds into 15 second-chance points while outrebounding the Rockets 40-36. The Bearcats have allowed more than 59 points only once this season. Ibrahima Thomas led the way on the glass with eight rebounds to go along with his seven points. Cincinnati matched its season low with only eight turnovers and scored a season-high 81 points.

DOMINATING DAYTON: After falling to Dayton in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament last season, the Bearcats defeated the 2009-10 NIT Champions in resounding fashion on Nov. 27, 2010. The Bearcats held Dayton to 34 points on 20.0 percent shooting and cruised to a 68-34 win at U.S. Bank Arena. The 34 points are the fewest allowed by a Mick Cronin UC basketball team, while the 20.0 percent shooting equalled for the lowest opponent output. Both previous marks came on Jan. 30, 2008 in a 62-39 win at West Virginia. The game also marked the first time since a 74-41 win over Duquesne on Dec. 1, 2001 that UC held an opponent without a double figure scorer. UC shot 51.9 percent in the first half and opened the second half with a 14-0 run, holding Dayton without a field goal until 8:41 remaining. Its previous second-

FAST START: Cincinnati is 8-0 to start the season, its best beginning to a season under head coach Mick Cronin. The last time UC got off to a 8-0 start was 2004-05 when it won the first 11 games of the year. The school record for the most consecutive wins to start a season is 19 in 1962-63, the year after UC won its second straight NCAA title. IT'S

BEEN A WHILE ... In the Bearcats 68-34 win over Dayton, UC did not allow a Flyers' basketball player to score in double figures. It marks the first time Cincinnati has held an opponent without a double-figure scorer since knocking off Duquesne, 74-41, on Dec. 1, 2001, a span of 291 games. The Bearcats held the Dukes to 22.9 percent shooting and 28.6 percent behind the arc in the match-up, while posting a 55-28 advantage on the glass.

FIFTH THIRD ADVANTAGE: The Bearcats are 285-60 (.826) in games at Fifth Third Arena since the building opened in 1989-90. Under Mick Cronin, UC is 48-25 in Fifth Third (.658). UC was 13-5 at home and 12-5 in Fifth Third Arena last season. The Miami (OH) game was considered a home game despite being played at U.S. Bank Arena. The seven consecutive home wins last year to start the season matched the best home winning streak for the Bearcats since 2004-05, when they won nine games, spanning two seasons.

U.S. BANK ADVANTAGE: UC's 68-34 victory over Dayton at U.S. Bank Arena on Nov. 27, 2010 was the Bearcats' 16th straight win there, dating back to the 2002 Conference USA Tournament.

BISHOP STREAKING: Senior forward Rashad Bishop is a perfect 15-for-15 from the charity stripe this season. Bishop hit his only free throw against Wright State. He was 6-for-6 against Mount St. Mary's and IPFW earlier this season and did not go to the free throw line at Toledo.

WRIGHT-ING A WRONG: Redshirt sophomore guard Cashmere Wright has made an impressive turnaround at the charity stripe. In his first three games of the 2010-11 season, Wright was 7-for-16 at the free throw line (.438 percent). Since then, Wright has connected on all of his free throws, currently riding a 11-shot streak at the charity stripe.

A TALE OF TWO HALVES: UC put up 56 points in the first half, tying the most points scored in one half in the Mick Cronin era (Feb. 4, 2009 vs. Notre Dame). UC's 43 points in the second half against Wright State was only the second time this season the Bearcats have scored more points in the second stanza (FAMU and WSU). Totals FG Pct. 3-pt. Points First Half 42.0 47.6 336 Second Half 35.6 28.4 246

KILPATRICK WINS BIG EAST ROOKIE OF THE WEEK: Redshirt freshman Sean Kilpatrick won the BIG EAST Conference's first league Rookie of the Week honor (Nov. 22) after leading UC to a pair of opening wins over Mount St. Mary's (69-59) and IPFW (65-59). Kilpatrick scored 34 points in two games, including 21 points in his collegiate debut vs. The Mount on Nov. 15. He shot 55.0 percent (11-of-20) from the field, including 5-for-11 (.455) from 3-point range. Defensively, Kilpatrick posted a pair of steals in each game. Last season, UC players earned BIG EAST Rookie of the Week five times as Lance Stephenson won the honor four times and Cashmere Wright claimed it once.

MAKING THEIR DEBUTS: Redshirt freshman Sean Kilpatrick and true freshman Justin Jackson made their UC debuts vs. Mount St. Mary's on Nov. 15. Kilpatrick was the game-high scorer, posting 21 points in 24 minutes off the bench for the Bearcats. The last time a Cincinnati basketball player scored a game-high for points in his debut, was on Nov. 16, 2008 when Yancy Gates had a game-high 16 points and a team-high 11 rebounds in a 77-46 win over South Dakota at Fifth Third Arena. Jackson, despite going scoreless on an 0-for-3 shooting night, was extremely active for UC, grabbing four rebounds (3 defensive), blocking two shots, making three steals, and dishing out two assists. Kilpatrick is posting 11.7 points in 20.7 minutes per game, while Jackson, who notched career highs for points (5) and rebounds (7) against Dayton, is playing 12.9 minutes a night.

GLOBAL SPORTS MAIN EVENT: As part of its early season schedule, UC took part in the Global Sports Main Event, an NCAA exempted tournament, on Nov. 13-27. Due to the tournament being a qualifying regular-season multiple-team event, the Bearcats played host to three additional home games as part of the event in Fifth Third Arena as they took on Mount St. Mary's on Monday, Nov. 15, Florida A&M on Monday, Nov. 22, and Savannah State on Wednesday, Nov. 24. The Bearcats went 4-0 in the event with wins over Mount St. Mary's, 69-59, Florida A&M, 76-51, Savannah State, 54-41, and Dayton, 68-34. UC closed out play in the Global Sports Main Event with a 68-34 win over Dayton at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Nov. 27. Dayton's 34 points was the fewest ever allowed by a Mick Cronin UC team. Junior guard Dion Dixon led the way with a career-high 20 points. The UC defense held the Flyers to 20.0 percent (12-of-60) shooting from the field. Dixon led all Bearcats in scoring during the event, averaging 11.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists a game. UC's four opponents averaged 46.2 points per game, while the Bearcats scored 66.8 points per contest.

THE WINS KEEP ADDING UP: Since the start of the 2006-07 season, Cincinnati is one of five programs from the major basketball conferences to post more wins in each season. The Bearcats posted 11 wins in 2006-07, 13 in 2007-08, 18 in 2008-09, and 19 last season. The other programs to accomplish the feat are Baylor, California, Duke, and Purdue. A 20-plus win season this year for UC would be its first since posting a 21-13 record in 2006-07. Win Totals 06-07 07-08 08-09 09-10 Baylor 15 21 24 28 California 16 17 22 24 Cincinnati 11 13 18 19 Duke 22 28 30 35 Purdue 22 25 27 29 HOT SHOT Against Wright State the Bearcats shot 50.9 percent from the floor, marking the 17th time under head coach Mick Cronin that UC has hit on half of its shots during a game. Cincinnati is 13-4 overall when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor under Cronin.

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS SINCE BACK-T0-BACK CHAMPS: Starting with a preseason luncheon in October, the University of Cincinnati Department of Athletics will spend the next two seasons celebrating the 50th anniversaries of its back-to-back NCAA National Championships in 1961 and 1962. During the celebration members of the two national championship teams will be invited back to recognized at halftime of games. To honor the two great teams, the UC basketball program will sport adidas throw-back uniforms at various games throughout the year. The team debuted the white uniform at its game at U.S. Bank Arena on Nov. 27 vs. Dayton in a 68-34 victory.

WHAT A PRESEASON, EH? In preparation for the 2010-11 season, Cincinnati traveled north of the border to Ottawa, Ontario for a three-game foreign tour on Sept. 3-5. While on the trip, the Bearcats faced McGill University, six-time Canadian National Champion Carleton University, and the University of Ottawa and played using FIBA rules. The foreign tour allowed UC an extra 10 full-team practices prior to the trip. In the opener of the tour vs. McGill on Sept. 3, sophomore guard JaQuon Parker led Cincinnati, who trailed early, 20-16, to an 89-56 victory with a team-high 15 points. Freshman Sean Kilpatrick posted 14 points vs. McGill in his debut as a Bearcat. In the second game, Cincinnati faced six-time Canadian National Champion Carleton University at the Scotiabank Place on Sept. 4 and knocked off the Ravens, 87-70. Junior guard Dion Dixon led the way with 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting to add to his two assists and two steals. UC won the finale vs. Ottawa on Sept. 5, 79-57. Kilpatrick and Wright led the Bearcats in scoring with 17 a piece, while junior forward Yancy Gates added 15 points and five rebounds.

NO LONGER WITH THE BEARCATS: When the Bearcats opened the 2010-11 season it was their first under head coach Mick Cronin without two-time all-BIG EAST performer Deonta Vaughn. Vaughn finished his career in Clifton as the program's third all-time leading scorer with 1,885 points. He is the only Bearcat to ever score 1,800 points and dish out 500 assists. Besides Vaughn, the Bearcats lost 2010 BIG EAST Freshman of the Year Lance Stephenson to the NBA, where he was selected 40th overall in the draft by the Indiana Pacers. Stephenson led all BIG EAST freshman in overall scoring with 12.0 ppg and was named to the league All-Rookie team in addition to Rookie of the Year. Stephenson ranked among the team's Top 3 in points (1st, 12.3 ppg), rebounds (2nd, 5.4 rpg), assists (2nd, 2.4 apg), and steals (2nd, 0.91 spg). Forward Steve Toyloy was a defensive stopper and rebounder for Cincinnati in his two years after transferring from Miami Dade Community College. In 67 career games as a Bearcat, Toyloy averaged 3.6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.

UC INKS FIVE NLI'S: The University of Cincinnati men's basketball team signed five players to national letters of intent for the 2011-12 season. Joining the Bearcats will be Shaquille Thomas (Paterson, N.J./NIA Prep School), Jermaine Sanders (Far Rockaway, N.Y./Rice), Octavius Ellis (Memphis, Tenn./Whitehaven), Ge'Lawn Guyn (Georgetown, Ky./Scott County), and Jeremiah Davis (Muncie, Ind./Huntington Prep [W.Va.]). The group is ranked the 21st-best recruiting class in the nation by ESPN.com.