The road traveled in the Big East is filled with curves and potholes along the way, Monday night the University of Cincinnati Bearcats Men's Basketball team found a giant pothole after cruising through the curves during their match against Connecticut.
The curves came early and often for the Bearcats as Connecticut struggled and Armein Kirkland looked ready to have his breakout game for the season. The senior who's struggled with his shot all season, found the range and would post 14 points against the Huskies before the biggest pothole of the season saw Kirkland tweak his knee and be gone for the night.
The loss of Kirkland proved costly as the Bearcats already play with a short bench and would be forced to use Chadd Moore as a wing player during the second half. With Kirkland out, UConn had way too much firepower for the Bearcats to overcome by the end of the final buzzer.
James While showed the many NBA scouts on hand he's got the tools to play at the next level by scoring 18 points. Eric Hicks continued to show his strength by posting 14 points to go with his 11 boards and 7 blocked shots. But while in the past these two could keep the Bearcats close, the night belonged to the Huskies Hilton Armstrong. The Huskies center would match Hicks with 14 points and pull down 10 boards and block 6 shots.
But while the score saw an eleven point difference the game was so much closer. The Bearcats would hold UConn to 37.3% shooting on the night and only 26.7% from 3-point range. Coach Kennedy has stressed since the start of the season if the Bearcats can hit for 40% they would be successful, on Monday night the Bearcats only shot 35.6% and came up on the short end in their second Big East road game.
With the loss of Kirkland looming over the team, Coach Kennedy will be in need to revamp his team's sets to match-up with upcoming foe Syracuse on Saturday. Senior Jihad Muhammad will need to step-up his game after going 0-9 on Monday night and Chadd Moore will need to produce more then his zero points during his twenty-six minutes of play.