The Crosstown Shootout is tomorrow night. As you can tell by the header, this post contains some of my memories of the Crosstown Shootout. There are so many different reasons to love this game. It's nearly always highly competitive, the players have a natural rivalry that comes from playing in this game and in various summer leagues. People say you can throw the records out when these teams play, but there are fewer rivalry games where this is absolutely the case. We've seen not great UC teams beat better Xavier teams. We've definitely seen great UC teams lose to lesser talented Xavier squads. The game is always intense. And games with high intensity lead to great memories. Also, it's never, ever, ever going to be the Crosstown Classic because memories.
5) The Yancy Game of 2011
The last time Cincinnati and Xavier played a game that played out until the final buzzer, the Bearcats destroyed Xavier 66-46. The memories of this game are still relatively fresh, but the awful memory of the brawl last season really puts a damper on Yancy Gates Shootout memories. That's why this one is ranked at number 5. Gates had a might fine performance as a junior. It was his best game as a Bearcat. As for the game itself, Xavier led 10-4 all the way to the under 12 timeout. Gates scored 6 of the next 12 points to put Cincinnati ahead for good. Cashmere Wright scored 6 straight to put UC up 9. When Xavier cut the lead to 6 late in the half, Gates knocked down a fade away jumper right in Kenny Frease's face to push the margin back to 8. Gates had 2 dunks early in the second half to set the pace. Larry Davis scored 5 of 6 points at the 14 minute mark to put UC up 16. Xavier chipped away some, but Gates scored on a putback to all but ice it. He walked off the floor to massive Yancy chants. Cincinnati improved to 15-0 with this win. Gates was 10-16 for 22 points with 14 rebounds. Gates had 7 20 point performances as a Bearcat, none more memorable than this.
4) Lance Stephenson's Crossover
The 2009 Shootout was an odd one. It was at 7pm on a Sunday night. The game, however, was a classic. It was full of horrible, horrible shooting, UC was 5-23 from 3, Xavier was 5-18. Xavier shot 41.7%, Cincinnati shot 37.6%. Just like in the 2011 game, Xavier raced out to a 10-4 lead. Cincinnati slowly chipped away, caught Xavier at 12 and built the lead to 19-12. Xavier fought back to take a 5 point lead at the half thanks to a Tu Holloway 3 pointer. X went up 7 almost immediately to start the second half, eventually building the lead to 10 with 13 minutes left. Cincinnati got the lead to 4, but it went right back to 7. That's when Lance Stephenson scored 7 straight to tie the score at 51. Cincinnati went out to a 55-51 lead but X tied the score with 4 minutes left. With the score tied with 31 seconds left, Tu Holloway connected for a bucket. With 14 seconds left, Stephenson tied it with a layup. Xavier looked to have won the game, but Dante Jackson's shot was waived off. Cincinnati scored the first 4 of overtime, highlighted by the video up top, Mark Lyons the next 4. Cincinnati had a 5 point lead with 57 seconds left after a Rashad Bishop free throw and layups by Stephenson and Deonta Vaughn. Holloway got to the line and made 2, UC turned it over, and Holloway made 2 more free throws. Dion Dixon put UC up 3 with a pair of freebies. Then Holloway scored an and 1 to tie the game. UC had a chance to win but Stephenson missed a 3. Cincinnati once again had a 3 point lead in the second overtime but couldn't maintain it. The turning point happened with a minute left. Steve Toyloy pulled in an offensive rebound and was fouled. He missed them both. Jason Love scored a layup for Xavier to put them in front. For some reason Dixon attempted a 3, which he missed. X made 1 of 2. Vaughn tried the layup down 3, but he blew it. Love pulled in the rebound and Xavier won. The game was intense. There were double technicals and a pull apart at half court during one of the timeouts. Only 6 Shoutouts have gone to overtime. This was the only double overtime game.
3) Kenyon's block in '99
When I see the score of the 1999 contest, 87-77, the only thing that pops in my head is Kenyon's block of a Lloyd Price shot that went all the way back up the floor. Someone should have blocked a Price shot the next year, but I digress. Sportscenter showed the block multiple times the next day, and it stayed in my memory. The game was tighter than the score indicates. UC had a big lead, but Xavier came back. Xavier took a lead in the second half, but UC managed to tie. Steve Logan hit a couple of 3s, one on a traditional 3 point play, and one a 3, to get the lead back up. The Bearcats would ice it at the line. Kenyon Martin would hold up that trophy for the last time.
2) The 2001 Beatdown
The 2001 game has no great singular memories, but rather the game as a whole is a memory. This beatdown was catharsis for all the recent close losses at the hands of the Muskies. This was the first game in the Cintas Center, and the Bearcats couldn't have picked a better performance to open it to Shootout play. The Bearcats haven't won there since so it's doubly nice. I loved the 2001-02 Bearcats so much. I worked for UC, and got paid to watch nearly every home game. I found out I was taller than Steve Logan. Steve Logan was probably the last Bearcat to have huge moments against Xavier. He had the big 3s as a freshman, and had a big game as a senior. This was a great watch for UC fans.
1) Nick Van Exel's Halfcourt Heave in 1992
This shot has stayed with me the whole time I've been a UC fan. It was a couple seconds before the half. Nick Van Exel had the ball. He was at halfcourt and threw up a prayer. Net. The Shoe went nuts. The Bearcats ended up routing Xavier, just like they routed nearly everyone else that magical season. The reason this is so high is because it was my first memory of the Shootout. I was watching it with my mom and brother. I believe the game was on Fox 19. The Thom Brennaman and Kevin Frazier days. You always remember your first the most. That's why I remember the Lenny Brown game so well, it was the first time Xavier ripped my heart out. This memory is so much better.