Friday, March 18, 2011

U.C. Withstands 40 Minutes

Yancy Gates was right. So were Larry Davis and Biggie McClain. Gates said the Bearcats had seen it all in the Big East Conference, so the “40 Minutes of Hell” coming from Missouri would be nothing new. Davis and McClain said Missouri better worry about the 40 minutes of hell the Bearcats were preparing for Mizzou. U.C. responded with an emphatic 78 to 63 win over the Tigers Thursday night in the NCAA Tournament opener.
After the win U.C. head coach Mick Cronin talked about the lack of respect he feels his team was shown throughout the season. He doesn't expect that to change as the Bearcats advance to meet Connecticut in the next round. The players agreed withe their head coach, but claim it has fueled a fire they think has propelled them to this point. This point is a place the Bearcats haven't reached since 2005.
Thursday night at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., the Bearcats were off to a tenative start against Missouri. Then U.C. awoke to outscore Missouri 37-19 the rest of the way in the opening stanza. U.C. slapped a zone defense on Missouri in the first half that stifled the Tigers as the Bearcats took a 39-28 lead to the locker room.
Missouri made several runs in the second half, once cutting the U.C. lead to six. But the Bearcats responded each time with a flurry of layups and three-point plays. Things went so well for U.C. that Gates canned two 3-point shots in the game, one in the first half and another in the second. After the game U.C. Head Coach Mick Cronin laughed when I jokingly asked him if Yancy now had the green light. Cronin laughed out loud and said, "It's the worst thing that could have happened." Gates led all players with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Dion Dixon had 16 points while Cashmere Wright handed out a game-high 7 assists.
The Bearcats will have the late game again Saturday night. They are scheduled to tip off against Connecticut approximately 9:40 p.m.

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