The Cincinnati Bearcats hadn't started 5-0 since 2004. That changed in a huge way Saturday night, as the Bearcats absolutely crushed the Dayton Flyers. It was the best game of the Mick Cronin era. If I were to do a 3 positives and 3 negatives for this game, I don't think I could, that's how well the Bearcats played. 1 of the negatives would be that we had to be subjected by the UC football team beforehand, but that's not a big deal anymore. The glorious ass kicking covered everything that would ail you on Saturday. Let's get into it.
The teams started off exchanging misses, but Yancy Gates was whistled for a foul on Dayton's first possession. Devin Searcy picked up his first foul seconds later, and picked up his second after Dion Dixon flipped a pass to Gates for a lay up and foul for the game's first points. After a UD miss, Rashad Bishop drilled a shot in the paint. Gates would draw another foul on a Dayton big on the next UC trip, and make 1 of 2 to make it 6-0. Juwan Staten raced the ball down the court, passed to Chris Johnson, who nailed a 3. UC got it right back with a Bishop 3. The teams exchanged turnovers. Off a Dayton foul, Cashmere Wright scored a lay up off the inbound. After another UD miss, Bishop missed a jumper, Ibrahima Thomas got the board, and Bishop took another jumper, making it, and making the score 13-3 4 minutes into the game. The teams exchanged misses going into the under 16 media break, but Yancy Gates was whistled for foul 2 and headed for the bench.
UC extended the lead at the 14:29 mark, with two free throws by Ibrahima Thomas. Dayton got their first field goal in minutes with a Josh Benson jumper from Staten. They got a lay up off a Thomas turnover, and it was 15-7. Thomas got it back, as UC worked the Dayton offense for 25 and Darnell Wilks fired a pass from the top of the key to Thomas for a slam. Dayton scored a Staten lay up, but on the other end, Paul Williams picked up his second foul of the game, fouling Darnell Wilks, who made both. After a Chris Wright turnover, Wilks fired to Sean Kilpatrick for 3. We went into the under 12 with UC up 22-9.
Dayton scored a lay up out of the timeout, on a nicely drawn up play to Brandon Spearman. Nothing interesting happened for a minute, until Wright missed a jumper, Bishop got the rebound, fired to Wilks, who passed to Dixon for a lay up for a bucket and a foul. Wright missed another jumper, leading to my favorite play of the season. UC ran a pick and roll with Dixon and Justin Jackson. The UD player didn't follow Jackson, who rolled to the rim. Dixon fired a pass to him for a dunk. Beautiful. Another two minutes went by with nothing but missed shots, until Cashmere Wright found Bishop on the wing for a 3 pointer to make it 30-11. Staten rushed up the floor and found Josh Parker for 3, and the last points before the under 8. UC 30-16.
We went into the under 8 with Dixon getting fouled. He made 1 of 2, followed by Wright making 2 for UD. The Bearcats got those back with a Jackson rebound and lay up off a Bishop miss. Wright got a tip in off a UD miss to keep it at 15. It stayed that way for a minute. Thomas got a steal that led to a Dixon 3 from Cash. Dayton missed a 3, and on the rebound, Searcy got whistled for his third foul at 3:18. UC 36-18.
Jackson went to the line for the Bearcats, but missed both shots. However, Thomas pulled down the rebound. He was rewarded with a nice pass from Bishpo for another dunk. Spearman missed a lay up, leading to a UC mini break where Justin Jackson passed back to Dixon, who drilled another 3. Dixon got a steal and was fouled, but only made 1 of 2. The next two minutes were full of missed shots, until JaQuon Parker fouled Josh Benson with 7 seconds left in the half. Benson made 1, and we went into the locker room with a surprising UC 42-19 lead.
Dayton was 7-30, 23% in the half, going 2-9 from 3 and 3-6 at the stripe. UC was 14-27, 51.7%, 5-11 from 3, 9-14 from the line. Complete defensive domination by the Bearcats, and a high percentage offense.
UC put any hopes of a Dayton comeback away early in the half. To be fair, Dayton helped themselves as well. UC scored the first points of the half on a lay up by Cash from Gates. Wright then drew the third foul on Chris Wright, and drilled both free throws. Then, Cash got a steal and fed Dion Dixon for a lay up. He wasn't done. After Dixon rebounded a missed UD 3, Cash found him on the other end for a 3 pointer to push the lead over 30, 51-19. That was the score going into the media timeout.
UC kept the scoring in the next segment, when Gates drew a foul on Paul Williams, making 1 of 2. After a missed lay up he rebounded, Darnell Wilks assisted Dixon on another lay up. Dixon picked the pocket of Josh Parker, and was off to the races for a fast break dunk. At this point in the game, Dixon was outscoring Dayton 20-19. That would continue for another minute, when Staten made 1 of 2 free throws after 2 Wilks fouls in 13 seconds. Things muddled down for a little bit, until Ibrahima Thomas assisted Sean Kilpatrick for 3. Dayton got their first field goal of the half seconds later, when Justin Jackson goaltended a Staten lay up. That happened at 11:27. That's right, 0 made field goals and 3 UD points in nearly 9 minutes. UC 59-22.
Spearman got the first point of the next segment on a free throw. That was answered moments later by a Larry Davis 3 from Kilpatrick. Staten scored a lay up in transition for the first UD field goal of the second half at 8:41. That's all the scoring that happened in this 4 minutes. UC 62-25.
No scoring happened until the 6 minute mark, when Wilks got a steal and fired ahead to Kilpatrick for a break away lay up. That made it 64-25. The teams traded free throws, 2 for Josh Parker, 1 for JaQuon Parker, a UD lay up and free throw by Benson, and a free throw by Justin Jackson. That's all that happened until the 1 minute mark, when UD made a tip in, a lay up, and Darnell Wilks hit a pair to double up Dayton.
Dayton shot 12-60, 20%, 2-14 from deep, 9-14 at the stripe, with 40 rebounds, 16 offensive, 16 turnovers to 6 assists. Juwan Staten led UD with 9 points, 4 assists. Josh Benson had 6-8. No one else did anything except suck.
Cincinnati shot 22-57, 40.7%. The Bearcats shot 29% the second half. UC was 8-23 from deep, a poor 16-26 at the stripe, with 44 rebounds, 12 offensive, and 17 assists to 11 turnovers. Dion Dixon, my best friend, had 20 points, on 7-12 shooting. Rashad Bishop had 10-4, all in the first half on the points, Sean Kilpatrick 8, Ibrahima Thomas 6-8, Cashmere Wright 6-5 assists, Justin Jackson 5-7-2 blocks, Yancy Gates 5, Darnell Wilks 4-6-5 assists, Larry Davis 3, JaQuon Parker 1.
I asked Dion Dixon, my best friend if you didn't know, if he knew he outscored Dayton when he came out, and he said this
That's right, he's so awesome he doesn't realize how awesome he is. Also, those uniforms were so sweet. I hope UC either auctions them, or wears them again. I almost don't want to end this post, because reliving the beat down of Dayton was pretty sweet. It's good to say that about UC basketball.