Cincinnati 92, Providence 88
Why Cincinnati Won: Providence’s defense had trouble stopping Cincinnati all game, but the Friars offense simply sputtered for most of the 2nd half (until the very end when Curry started drilling late threes in a furious late comeback that fell short). The Bearcats stepped up their defense in the 2nd, and forced PC into many poor shots within the half court set. Even though the Friars shot a great 13-34 (38.2%) from downtown, 10 of those came within the first 6 minutes and the last 90 seconds. In between was pretty effing ugly. Cincinnati almost tried to throw the game away in the final few minutes with a boat load of missed foul shots, but Providence couldn’t dig themselves out of the big hole they dug themselves in.
Turning Point: After Marshon Brooks’ sick dunk over his defender trying to block his shot on a fast break, PC led 60-57 with just under 13 minutes left in the 2nd half. Things were looking up. However from then on, everything came up red and black. After multiple PC turnovers and poor shot attempts, the Bearcats quickly built up a 10 point lead just three minutes later on many easy buckets and a few bounces that went their way. The Friars couldn’t respond on offense or get any consistent stops on D and were cooked.
Player of the Game: Cashmere Wright. Cashmere, really? Anyway, this UC player got his career high pretty much in the first half (HE AVERAGES 4.8 A GAME!) , and ended with 24 points on a ridiculous 9-11 shooting.
Goat of the Game: Brian McKenzie. BMac hit a three in the first few minutes of the game, but didn’t really do much after that. One play that stuck in my mind was when PC was down 10 with 7 minutes left, McKenzie rushed a long three off the back of the rim. Throw in the usual dumb fouls and turnovers, and there you have our senior guard.