The Cincinnati Bearcats improved to 8-0 on the season with an 87-53 win over UALR tonight. They used a school record 23 steals to completely baffle the Trojan ball handlers. The press was magnificent. The middle of it especially caused a lot of pressure. Justin Jackson ended up with a career best 4 steals. Cashmere Wright, Ge'Lawn Guyn and JaQuon Parker all had 3.
The Bearcat offense had 3 in double figures. The most surprising was Cheikh Mbodj, who matched his career high with 12 points. He was 4-4 from the field and 4-4 at the foul line. He also had 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. It was one of his best games in a Cincinnati uniform. The other two in double digits were no surprise. Sean Kilpatrick had a game high 18 points and JaQuon Parker had 11. Somehow skipped over his name earlier, but David Nyarsuk had his best game as a Bearcat with 12 points of his own.
In another good stat, the Bearcats had 20 assists on their 34 field goals. I mentioned that after the Alabama win and apparently so did Mick because the ball moved very crisply. Cash and Jackson both had 4 assists to top the team.
There were a couple problems. UC turned it over 17 times. Sean Kilpatrick (5) and Cashmere Wright (4) were responsible for over half of them. You don't expect who you think are your best ball handlers to be turnover machines, but that was the case.
The 3 point shooting was horrendous at 5-20. The free throw shooting was once again god awful at 14-24. Free throws are a concentration thing. They made them in the big games in Vegas. They miss them against middling teams like this. It's incredibly frustrating. Especially when Kilpatrick and Parker are a combined 3-6.
The Bearcats won and they won easy. That's something to be happy about. With the Butch Jones never ending side show going on, this was a nice 2 hour break. Thank you, Cincinnati basketball.
Box score via SI