Bearcats Prove Defense Wins Games, Squeak Out Road Win

Ugly. That is one word to describe how the Cincinnati offense played on Wednesday. The offense shot a mere 26.6 percent from the field. The defense, on the other hand, played extremely well, and is the reason why UC won.

The Good

The defense was one of the bright spots from Wednesday night. The defense held SMU to 49 points, the best defensive game since Xavier, when X scored 47 in the Crosstown Shootout (even though Xavier refused to make it a shootout). SMU had five 2nd half points through the first 10 minutes. SMU shot almost 30% from 3-point range, but the defense didn’t allow a lot of shots, resulting in low scoring for the Mustangs.

Cincinnati was on from the free-throw stripe. The Bearcats shot 14/15 (96.6%). Scoring 27% of their points at the line, crunch-time free throws were a big reason Cincy hung on to win. Hitting shots at the charity stripe was one of the few positives on offense, and the only good method of shooting.

Little mistakes were made on Wednesday. Only 8 total turnovers and 11 fouls for the Bearcats last night. Cincinnati also brought in 21 offensive rebounds, leading to around half their points coming from second-chance baskets.

The Ugly

There doesn’t deserve to be a section for “The Bad” because everything else was worse than bad. The first thing to point to is shooting. 26.6% shooting is extremely poor for a team who shoots 43% usually. The guys didn’t take bad shots, they just couldn’t get them to go in.

The deep ball seemed to go half way down and pop out every time. 19% from behind the arc is low as well. Absolutely nothing would go in, and it was just a real poor night shooting.

Recap

It is weird to see that I have more things in “The Good” rather than “The Ugly.” Cincinnati did not play bad basketball. It was their worst night shooting since Ohio State, and statistically worse than that.

The Bearcats proved they can win games when scoring the ball so little. If this team holds their dominance on defense, and gets shots to fall, they can hang with a lot of teams in the country.

Coach Cronin probably has them in the gym shooting until their arms fall off. However, a win is a win. Ugly, pretty, blowout, tight one; they all count for the same thing (except in the NET rankings…). Good AAC road win, on to Memphis and back at Fifth Third.

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