Instant Analysis: Pitt Gets Revenge.

Pitt used a solid second half run to avenge their earlier loss against UC with a big road victory.

-Jermaine Sanders gave the Bearcats a nice lift off the bench, allowing some of the Cincinnati guards extended breaks as he put in a productive outing in the first half, putting up four points and three rebounds.

-This was a typical Big East basketball game in that we saw a lot of tough, man-to-man defense in the first half, with both teams trusting their players to lock down their individual matchups. We saw Pitt switch to a zone late in the first half, but for the most part, both teams stayed in man to man.

-Shot selection continues to be an issue for this team. On certain possessions, there won't be one pass that attempts to breakdown the defense. They seem to be content passing the ball around the perimeter and putting up a deep, contested two-pointer as the shot clock winds down. When this becomes their primary offense, they allow teams to get back into the game, as they did when Pittsburgh shook an eight-point deficit into a three-point lead with under three minutes left in the first half.

-Another Cincinnati game that involved Sean Kilpatrick as the only offensive weapon for the Bearcats. This team has three legitimate all Big East quality guards in Kilpatrick, Cashmere Wright and Jaquon Parker, and neither of the latter two provided the necessary offense to take pressure off of Kilpatrick in this game.

-Titus Rubles put together a solid performance in the game. While its clear Rubles isn't a shooter, he brings much more to the table in terms of athleticism and rebounding prowess. When he attacks the basket, it opens up Cincinnati's offense for the guards to hit open three point shots.

-Pitt big man Steven Adams proved what many UC fans have been saying all season; a quality center/power forward is tough to handle with Cincinnati's frontcourt. Adams didn't get a lot of touches, which was surprising given the success he had against the Bearcats, but he took advantage of the touches he was given. Surprisingly, Adams finished with less than five rebounds, a shock, given the size Adams possesses.

-Cheikh Mbodj getting his fourth foul early in the second half was HUGE for the Bearcats. Mbodj has proven to be Cincinnati's best low post player, especially from a defensive standpoint, and with him on the bench for a good 10-12 minutes in the second half, it allowed Pitt to take advantage of UC's weakened interior defense.

-Second chance points killed Cincinnati in this game. Multiple times in the second half, UC would put together a solid defensive possession, only to give up an offensive rebound and let Pitt gain another possession. This proved to be even more important late in the second half as the game became closer and each possession increased in importance.

-Cincinnati's three-point shooting was porous in the game. They once again lived and died by the shot, and tonight, they died. Shooting under 20% for the game is usually a sign that you need to change up your offensive game plan, but it didn't happen tonight, and the Bearcats paid for it in the end.

-In some brighter news, Cincinnati got some good minutes from Shaquille Thomas And Justin Jackson tonight, something that should help to add depth to UC's frontcourt going forward. Thomas is the only freshmen on this team and one of the more athletically gifted players UC has on its roster. The more minutes he gets, the better this UC team can be.


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