"Physical and mental (toughness)," said head coach Mick Cronin. "You have to be mentally tough enough to do the right thing at the right time. And not give up an and-one, when Yancy's got a guy pinned behind the basket, lose your man, and then give him an and-one. You can't do that. You have to be mentally tough enough to stand (in a) stance, see the ball and get a defensive stop. We aren't tough enough. We are struggling to get five guys on the floor who can defend as a unit and rebound the basketball. We only had nine turnovers tonight."
Despite having a scouting report that focused on rebounding and keeping the Thundering Herd out of the paint, Marshall attacked the glass much like many people attacked Thanksgiving dinner a day prior in posting the 73-69 overtime victory Friday.
Cincinnati was outrebounded 43-30 on the evening, which took attention off the fact they shot 52 percent in the second half and committed on nine turnovers.
"Last year we played a lot tougher than this year," said Sean Kilpatrick. "There is no excuse to what has been going on lately. Everyone sees and everyone knows that we can be a better team, but it is not going down right now."
Of the 32 missed shots, Marshall corralled more than half of them – hauling in 17 offensive rebounds in becoming the second visiting team in less than a week to post a victory. It was the most people to come through the turnstiles since 4,960 watched the ‘Cats fall to Presbyterian. They only lost three times on Ed Jucker Court a season ago.
Although Cincinnati 44 percent on the game, it was extended offensive droughts that enabled the Thundering Herd to stay close and eventually pull out the victory. Marshall closed the first half on a 10-2 run over the final five minutes and then had a 15-3 run late in the second half.
The Bearcats had a chance to salvage the victory at the end of regulation, but a forced runner by Yancy Gates and a missed tip in by Cashmere Wright send the game into the extra session.
Sean Kilpatrick had his shot in overtime to tie the game but was bumped on his drive to the hole and turned the ball over. So with the game hanging in the balance, Cincinnati went to its most prolific scorers and came up empty on both trips.
Kilpatrick finished the game with 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting, while Gates dropped 17 points on 8-of-16 shooting with a team-high seven rebounds. While he struggled from the field, shooting just 2-of-10 from the field, Wright turned in a solid performance. The junior guard had 10 assists, four steals and zero turnovers.