Record-setting performance set up 'Cats

Cashmere Wright played an excellent floor game in helping Cincinnati win its fourth Big East game.

Cincinnati – It took a record-setting performance, but the Cincinnati Bearcats finally got the Wildcats off their proverbial backs by posting the 82-78 victory.

It was Cincinnati's first-ever victory over Villanova in six attempts.

Facing the vaunted Wildacats' pressure defense, UC only turned the ball over three times. It tied a school record for fewest giveaways in a game. While the Bearcats were taking care of the ball, the 'Nova was giving the ball away in bunches – committing 17.

Dion Dixon was able to understate the obvious, "we did a good job of taking care of the basketball."

"There guards were outstanding," said Villanova head coach Jay Wright. "The balance of their guards, they can isolate different guards and they share the ball so well."

LAW OF AVERAGES: The Bearcats had feel good about themselves going into the break, despite trailing by five. Villanova was shooting 64 percent from the field, including 62.5 from behind the arc. The 10 first-half three-pointers by Villanova were four more than their season average and two away from their season high.

Things definitely evened out in the second 20 minutes as the Wildcats only made two baskets from behind the arc, and shot 28.1 percent from the field.

"I thought we got the same shots in the second half," said Wright. "We scored enough to win."

GETTING ON THE GLASS: If the Bearcats have one glaring weakness it has to be rebounding. When you are forcing turnovers and making shots, it can be masked. But if the Bearcats are going to be serious Big East title contenders, Mick Cronin knows it must be corrected.

"That is one of the reasons I started Justin today," said Cronin. "We are about the play the three best rebounding team in the Big East, we have to improve in that area."

Cincinnati was -16 on the game, and is getting out-rebounded by an average of five boards in conference play, which is tied for 14th in the 16-team league.

Bearcat Insider Top Stories