I should have had this written earlier. I'm sorry. The Syracuse Orange beat down the Cincinnati Bearcats Saturday afternoon, sending the Bearcats to 16-2. The Orange play a kinda big game against Pittsburgh in like 5 hours, so in order to get this out before that game starts, this part is going to be brief. Thanks to the Enquirer for the photos. Also, thanks to Martin Luther King, Jr for everything he did. I have enjoyed seeing some of his quotes on twitter and watched some of the videos on youtube. I hope you have a taken a few minutes of your day to do the same.
Syracuse controlled the tip to kick things off. The Orange missed 3 shots on their first possession, before Yancy Gates pulled home a rebound. Gates drew a foul on freshman Fab Melo, but missed both shots for the Bearcats. Rick Jackson took the initiative on the other end, scoring a lay up for the first bucket of the game. He was fouled by Gates on the play, but missed the free throw. Jackson then got a steal from Gates, hustled to the other end, and scored another lay up. Rashad Bishop missed a 3 that Jackson rebounded, leading to a Scoop Jardine 3, and a Mick Cronin timeout. Ibrahima Thomas would take, and shockingly miss, a long jumper out of the break that quickly turned into a Brandon Triche jumper. UC finally got on the board when Gates scored an and 1 on Melo. It was Melo's 3rd foul. Jackson scored another easy bucket for the Orange, and that was the last play before the media break. Syracuse 11-3.
Out of the media break, the Syracuse bigs continued to dominate. Baye Moussa Keita blocked a Gates shot. On the other end, Kris Joseph scored off an offensive rebound by Jardine. Cash Wright missed a 3, but made it worse by fouling BMK, not typing that again, who made both free throws to put Syracuse up 15-3. Thomas, Wilks, Bishop, Bishop and Thomas all missed shots, the last one blocked by BMK, before Jardine hit a 3 to make it 18-3 at the 12:29 mark of the half. Sean Kilpatrick finally hit a 3 for the Bearcats, ending a 4 minute drought heading int the under 12.
UC had the ball out of the timeout, thanks to a Syracuse turnover. Larry Davis took advantage by nailing a 3. The Bearcats got another steal, but Davis missed a 3. Dion Dixon, my best friend, got the rebound, and when trapped, called a timeout. He missed a 3 out of the timeout. Syracuse answered with a Jackson lay up on the third Syracuse shot of the possession. They were killing the Cincinnati bigs. UC's guards hit the glass hard. Dixon missed a 3, Davis rebounded. Davis missed a 3, Kilpatrick rebounded. Jardine fouled, Kilpatrick hit a 3. Jim Boeheim called a timeout with the score 20-12. The lead went right back to 10 when Dion Waiters scored for the Orange. The teams wouldn't score for the next minute, taking us to the under 8 with the score 20-12.
Gates missed a jumper out of the break for the Bearcats, Jardine had the rebound for Syracuse, but ending up turning it over. Cash turned it into points, drilling a 3. The game would come to a stop following a scary moment. Joseph went up for a shot attempt, and came down hard, hitting his head on the floor. It took a couple minutes to get him off the floor, for safety sake. He was taken to the hospital, and diagnosed with a concussion. He didn't make the trip to Pittsburgh today.
The game continued though. Cash missed a 3, but Kilpatrick got the rebound and was fouled on the putback attempt. He hit only 1 of 2. Syracuse got it right back, when Jardine found CJ Fair for a dunk. Cash quickly found Dixon for 3, then Jackson hit James Southerland for a trey. Dixon returned the favor, hitting Cash for a 3 pointer. Southerland also returned the favor, feeding Jackson for a 2. UC kept scoring, as Gates found Dixon, who drilled another 3 to cut the lead to 4. Things got away from UC though. Gates turned the ball over thanks to Triche, who finished with a dunk. Southerland then picked Bishop's pocket. That ended in another Triche lay up, this time from Jardine. UC got it back to 5 with another Dixon 3 from Wilks. Just about a minute later, after he missed the front end of a 1-1 a minute before, Dixon hit his 4th triple of the half. The Bearcats made a crucial blunder to close the half. Jardine took the ball to the right wing, and threw up a prayer that was an airball. It looked like Bishop left his man to box someone else out, which was costly, as Fair caught the airball and scored. A UC player, probably Bishop, let out a very loud "Oh shit." It was fitting. We had a game though, Syracuse 35 Cincinnati 31.
UC started the second half as they started the first, ice cold. Gates missed a jumper, Dixon got a steal and missed a 3, before Triche scored for Syracuse. Cash missed a jumper, and Gates missed the put back, leading to a Southerland 2. Ibrahima Thomas had a dunk attempt blocked by Fab Melo. Melo was rewarded on the other end with a dunk from Jackson to make it 41-31. Gates missed for UC, but Jardine missed for the Orange. Syracuse got the rebound though, and after a foul, Triche hit a 3 from Jardine. Bishop missed a 3, Southerland got the rebound, and Southerland, after a pass from Jardine, netted a 3. That brought on the second Mick Cronin timeout of the half. Larry Davis missed 2 more shots for UC, one blocked by Southerland, before we went into the under 16. With 15:16 to go, it was 47-31.
The Orange kept on scoring, as Jackson scored a lay up on the inbound possession. From this point on, we saw no Yancy Gates for UC. The announcers said he had an ankle injury. Wilks missed a 3 attempt for UC. Triche missed, Melo rebounded, Triche missed, Melo rebounded, then Melo decided to score himself, making it 51-31. It was 33-31 at one point late in the first half if you remember. The Bearcats finally scored at 13:42 on a Kilpatrick runner in the lane. Cash quickly got a steal that led to a Wilks dunk. UC had a chance to cut the lead after Jackson bricked a pair of free throws. But, there was a block party, and the UC front line was invited. Justin Jackson and Ibrahima Thomas both had shots blocked by Melo. Dixon ended up with the ball in the corner, forcing a timeout to be called, UC's last with 12:45 left. The Bearcats turned the ball over out of the timeout, wasting that chance completely, since Melo scored on the other end. Biggie McClain got minutes with Gates out, and he capitalized by getting to the line and making a pair of free throws. A Jardine turnover took us to the under 12, 53-37.
Once again, UC couldn't capitalize on a Syracuse miscue, as Kilpatrick missed out of the break, and Jardine hit for the Orange. Jackson missed a shot for UC, Kilpatrick got the rebound, but he was blocked by Jackson. He got a Jackson turnover, but couldn't score on the other end. Dixon had a shot attempt blocked by Jackson of Syracuse, and Justin Jackson couldn't score the put back. Adding to the misses, Biggie missed a lay up for the Bearcats, who held Syracuse scoreless in this stretch. A Jackson turnover resulted with Bishop being fouled, and making 1 of 2 to make it a 17 point game. 55-38 was the score with 7:38 left.
At this point, the Bearcats started a rally. Dixon drained a 3, and drained another around a Jackson lay up for Syracuse, and after a Jackson turnover, Justin Jackson scored for the Bearcats, making it an 11 point game with 6:26 left. Syracuse missed their next shot. Then the wheels came off for UC. Bishop tried an alley oop pass for some reason. No one went up for the ball, and it hit the backboard, leading the Orange to recover. After a Syracuse offensive rebound, Dixon committed a foul. That's when the idiocy continued, as Justin Jackson received a technical for talking shit. Why he was talking shit down 11, I don't know. Waiters hit 1 of 2 technical free throws, and Rick Jackson 1 of 2 normal free throws. Bishop had a shot blocked by BMK, leading to a Waiters dunk, making it a 15 point game again. UC started a 6-0 at the 3:40 mark, with a Thomas tip, a Thomas lay up and a Kilpatrick lay up. But with 1:48 left, Waiters said "yeah, you aren't coming back, or making the score respectable," and drilled a 3. Jardine added 3 free throws and that's how we got the score 67-52.
Cincinnati was 18-59, 30.5%, 11-28 from 3, 39%, and 5-11 at the line. UC was 7-31 inside the arc, with 10 shots blocked. They finished 4 of 6, so that means they were 3 of 25 until basically garbage time. UC had 25 rebounds, 14 offensive, with 5 steals. The Bearcats had 13 assists to 18 made shots and 5 turnovers. Dion Dixon led the way with 18, going 6-11 from 3, and 3 steals, Sean Kilpatrick had 11, Cash Wright 6-4 assists, Ibrahima Thomas 4-8 and he didn't foul out, Yancy Gates 3 on 1-6, Larry Davis 3, Justin Jackson, Darnell Wilks and Biggie McClain 2, and Rashad Bishop 1.
Syracuse was 27-48, 56%, 6-14 from 3, but 7-13 at the free throw line. The Orange had 35 rebounds, 9 offensive, with 10 blocks and 5 steals. SU had 16 assists to 27 shots, and 13 turnovers. They were the first team with more assists than turnovers against UC this season. Rick Jackson led the way with 15, on 7-8, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks, Scoop Jardine had 11-7 assists, Brandon Triche 11, James Southerland 8-8, Dion Waiters 8, Fab Melo 6-4 blocks, CJ Fair 4, Baye Moussa Keita 2-3 blocks, and Kris Joseph 2 in 10 minutes before his injury.
Let's do quick positives and negatives.
- Dion Dixon finally got the outside shot going, making 6-11 from deep. It was great to see his shot come back.
- Sean Kilpatrick played very well off the bench. I think he's played well enough to get himself in the starting lineup with the recent woes of Rashad Bishop.
- Ibrahima Thomas rebounded well
- Syracuse wants you to bomb 3s and long 2s on their zone all day. The Bearcats bombed 3s and long 2s on their zone all day. The flurry was unsustainable. It was great to see so many 3s drop, but UC made 2 the whole second half. I don't really know what the game plan was supposed to be on offense.
- The bigs for the Bearcats looked intimidated against the Syracuse bigs nearly the whole game. They had no answer for Jackson, and were scared of getting their shots blocked. That's not a great combination.
- Down 11, UC went for an alley oop, and got whistled with a technical. That's the second breakdown on the road against a really good team. That's unacceptable. This team needs to keep it together.
There isn't much more to say about this game. So let's look at a picture that sums it up.