Pretty, gorgeous, sexy, beautiful, stunning. Those are all words that describe me, but they do not describe the Bearcats win over Rutgers tonight. The game was a Big East grinder. Cincinnati lcoked down the Rutgers offense, holding them to 37% shooting in a 68-58 victory.
The Bearcats defense is one of the best in the nation in defensive efficiency, opponents field goal percentage and points per possession. Those stats are only getting better after tonight. I know it's not fun to watch at times, the entire first half of this game was something to make you hate basketball, but this his how this team is going to win. They are going defend. They are going win ugly. By the way, I hope this is one of those things that will make them start playing exciting basketball and have Michigan levels of offensive beauty.
The Bearcats offense was led by Cashmere Wright. The senior scored a game high 23 points. JaQuon Parker had a classic JaQuon Parker game with 11 points and 8 rebounds. He had 4 offensive rebounds. He had a big put back on a missed free throw. Sean Kilpatrick regressed to his pre-Notre Dame form by going 3-12 for 10 points. He had a season low 1 rebound. It might have been his worst game of the season. Titus Rubles had a near double double with 7 points and 11 rebounds.
The big surprise was Jermaine Sanders. The sophomore scored 9 points, 7 in the first half. He had a pair of rebounds as well. He played well against Notre Dame and he had another nice showing tonight. If he can keep it going against DePaul, I think we might have a bench scoring option on our hands. Also off the bench, Justin Jackson returned to have 8 rebounds to go with 6 points. He had an offensive rebound put back off a missed free throw and kept it going after that. It was good to see him produce.
Cincinnati only turned the ball over 4 times tonight. They hit 23-32, 72% from the foul line. They also had 15 offensive rebounds. Those were a good sign for the offense going forward.
The Cincinnati Bearcats are 14-3, 2-2 in the Big East. They hit the road Tuesday for a game against old rival DePaul. Tonight's game and Tuesday's game are important to win because Marquette and Syracuse follow that. For now, let's enjoy this one.
Box score and photo via SI
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