Cincinnati put in their best effort of the season in a complete wipeout of USC Upstate last night with a 36 point victory. Cincinnati did two things we haven't seen a ton of this season, they shot the lights out and they locked USC Upstate down like they were a high school club. Upstate went nearly 9 minutes in the second half without a basket. They only scored 16 points in the second half total. The game was 32-32 with 3:30 to go in the first half. Cincinnati hung a 36-7 ass whooping on the Spartans to lock this one down.
The defense was shaky at times in the first half. Upstate shot 50% and had 6 offensive rebounds. They ran off a couple of 8-0 runs to keep themselves in it. Cincinnati shut them down completely the last 23 minutes. USC Upstate was 6-23 in the second half. 3 of those field goals took place during the final four minutes when they were down 80-41.
Huge credit goes to Shaquille Thomas and everyone else who took a turn on Upstate star Torrey Craig. Crag was 4-16 from the field. Greene didn't have a lot of good looks. Ty Greene was held to just 4 field goal attempts. He didn't make any of them. Adding to the Spartan misery, the Bearcats forced them into 22 turnovers, 9 of which were steals. More impressively, Cincinnati did it without blocking shots. Justin Jackson didn't block any, the Cats had just 3. Lock down defense. Hell of an effort.
I mentioned UC shot the lights out and boy did they ever. The Cats took over half of their shots from 3. Some of that was by the design of the Upstate defense, which let guys shoot open 3s. The guard trio of Ge'Lawn Guyn, Sean Kilpatrick and Troy Caupain attempted 17 three pointers. They made 12. One of the question marks is can the other guys score and tonight the answer was oh hell yeah. This was a very encouraging performance. So much so it made me wonder if playing Guyn off the ball more wouldn't be a bad idea. Maybe Guyn and Caupain when SK hits the bench. Maybe Caupain, Guyn and SK when Thomas hits the pine. Their play opened some guys and maybe some opportunities.