Date: Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
Site: Fifth Third Arena (13,176)
Cincinnati:................ 10-16, 1-11 BIG EAST
Georgetown:............. 20-5, 10-2 BIG EAST
TV: ESPN Plus (Beth Mowins, Bob Wenzel)
Radio: WLW-AM 700 (Dan Hoard and Chuck Machock), also on XM 173
SETTING THE SCENE: Three days after taking on the BIG EAST Conference's top offensive team, the University of Cincinnati will be challenged by the league's toughest defensive squad when the Bearcats host No. 12 Georgetown on Wednesday, Feb. 21 for a 7 p.m. contest. The Hoyas (20-5, 10-2), who are surrendering a mere 56.1 points per contest, rank fourth nationally in scoring defense. Georgetown is also one of the nation's hottest teams, bringing a nine-game winning streak to Fifth Third Arena, including Saturday's 58-55 victory at Villanova which enabled the Hoyas to climb into a tie for first place with Pittsburgh. Cincinnati (10-16, 1-11), which fell to offensive juggernaut Notre Dame on Sunday, will be trying to snap an eight-game losing skid.
• Wednesday's game will be only the third meeting of Cincinnati and Georgetown and the first-ever in Cincinnati. The Hoyas have captured both previous contests, which were played at Georgetown.
• The two teams have already met once this season, with Georgetown taking an 82-67 victory in Washington on Jan. 27.
• In addition to ranking fourth in the nation in scoring defense (56.1), the Hoyas are 12th in field goal percentage defense (.391).
• Georgetown is No. 4 nationally in field goal percentage offense (.523). Roy Hibbert leads the nation in field goal percentage with his lofty .701 percentage.
• Bearcats' forward John Williamson is second in the BIG EAST in offensive rebounds (3.3) and seventh in total rebounds (7.3).
• Cincinnati continues to be one of the BIG EAST's best in taking care of the basketball. UC is ranked third in turnover margin (+3.2).
• Cincinnati and Georgetown have played seven common opponents. Cincinnati is 1-7 vs. those foes, having defeated West Virginia but losing to Rutgers (twice), Notre Dame, Villanova, Pittsburgh, St. John's and Louisville. Georgetown is 6-2 vs. those teams with wins over Notre Dame, Rutgers, St. John's, Louisville, West Virginia and Villanova and losses to Pittsburgh and Villanova.
LAST MEETING: Roy Hibbert's 26 points powered Georgetown to an 82-67 win over Cincinnati on Jan. 27, 2007 in Washington. Hibbert tallied 18 of his points in the second half to help the Hoyas break open the game that they led, 40-35, at the half. Georgetown took command with an 11-3 scoring run midway through the second half. Marcus Sikes scored 19 points and Deonta Vaughn added 18 for Cincinnati.
NOTING THE NOTRE DAME GAME:
• John Williamson, with 23 points, reached double digits in scoring for the 19th time this season and his fifth straight contest. It was the third time this season that he topped the 20-point plateau.
• Deonta Vaughn, with 22 points recorded his fifth 20-plus points performance.
• Notre Dame's .650 3-point percentage was a season-high by a UC opponent. The Irish's 13 treys were the second-most by a UC this year.
• The loss extended the Bearcats' losing streak to eight games, the longest since the 1983-84 season.
WILLIAMSON RETURNS TO THE OFFENSE: John Williamson has picked up the Bearcats' offense in recent games. The 6-6 junior has averaged 18.0 points over his last four games, during which he has shot .578 (26 of 45) from the field. Williamson scored 23 points, shooting 8-of-12 from the field, and grabbed nine rebounds in Sunday's game vs. Notre Dame. He tallied 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting in the Feb. 10 game at Rutgers and had 15 points vs. Villanova on Feb. 14.
• Williamson is Cincinnati's most consistent scorer, having reached double figures in 19 of the team's 26 contests.
• Williamson continues to be one of the most effective rebounders in the BIG EAST Conference, particularly under the offensive glass. The 6-6 junior is ranked second in the BIG EAST in offensive rebounds, averaging 3.3 per game. He is rated seventh in the league in overall rebounding with his 7.3 average.
• Williamson recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and 13 rebounds in the Jan. 20 win over West Virginia. His rebound total was second to the 16 rebounds he gathered vs. No. 4 Ohio State on Dec. 16.
• Williamson earned BIG EAST Conference Honor Roll accolades for his play the week of Dec. 11-17, during which he averaged 17.5 points and 12.0 rebounds.
VAUGHN AMONG BEST FROSH: Deonta Vaughn continues to lead the Bearcats in scoring with his 14.2-point average. Vaughn has ranked among the top freshmen scorers in the BIG EAST Conference throughout the season. He is currently second to Eugene Harvey (15.8 points) of Seton Hall.
• Vaughn scored 22 points, his fifth 20-plus points performance, in Sunday's game vs. Notre Dame. He has reached the 18-point mark three times in the last seven games.
• More than just a scorer, Vaughn has twice recorded a career-high eight rebounds and is the Bearcats' assists leader (3.5). He is second on the team in steals (1.8). He recorded five steals vs. Notre Dame on Sunday and had six thefts vs. North Carolina State on Dec. 23.
• Vaughn has twice earned BIG EAST Conference Rookie of the Week honors. He was recognized most recently for his performance in Cincinnati's victory over North Carolina State on Dec. 23, in which he scored 25 points and reached career highs with nine assists and six steals.
• Vaughn tallied a UC freshman single-game scoring record of 33 points vs. Wofford on Nov. 21. He connected on nine 3-pointers, the second most by any Bearcat in UC history. His 33-point effort is the third-highest scoring performance by any BIG EAST Conference player this season.
• Vaughn has dished out five or more assists in 10 games with a single-game high of nine.
GENTRY BECOMES A STARTER: Marvin Gentry, Cincinnati's super sixth man most of the season, has moved into the starting lineup for the last four games. The 6-3 junior has provided a scoring boost in recent contests.
• Gentry tallied 22 points while playing all but three minutes of the Jan. 31 game vs. Louisville.
• Gentry scored 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field vs. Georgetown (1/27/07).
• Gentry played a major role in the 96-83 win over West Virginia on Jan. 20, scoring a career-high 32 points. He was 5-of-7 from 3-point range and sank nine of his dozen free throw tries. The effort helped him earn weekly BIG EAST Honor Roll laurels.
SIKES BECOMES A SCORER: Marcus Sikes is a perimeter player who has been forced to see action around the basket. Sikes, who at 6-8 is the tallest Bearcat regular, nonetheless has the second-most treys among the Bearcats (41) and leads the team and is ranked seventh in the BIG EAST in 3-point field goal percentage (.432).
• Sikes scored 19 points in 25 minutes of the Jan. 27 Georgetown game before fouling out. He was 7-of-9 from the floor and tied a UC single game record for 3-point field goal percentage with a perfect 5-of-5 day from behind the arc.
• Sikes scored a career-high 24 points vs. Syracuse on Jan. 17, sinking eight of 12 3-pointers.
WARREN SHINES ON BOTH ENDS OF THE COURT: Jamual Warren continues to spark the Bearcats at both ends of the court. The 6-2 junior has averaged 9.0 points and 4.0 assists over his last five games. He tallied 13 points vs. Rutgers on Feb. 10 and had a career-high six assists in each of his two previous contests.
• Defensively, Warren has had at least one steal in all but four games this season and has had multiple steals in all but 10 contests. Warren, who had a streak of 15 games with a steal, leads the Bearcats with his 1.9 average. Warren set a career high with five steals in the Jan. 17 USF contest.
• Perhaps no steal was more timely than the one in which Warren made to extend his streak during the Dec. 27 win over Miami. After sinking a short jumper to give UC a 54-52 lead with 2:14 to play, Warren stole the ball and dunked on a break-away layup to present the Bearcats with an insurmountable lead. The 6-2 junior finished with 15 points.
• Cincinnati has averaged 9.3 steals over its last four games. The Bearcats tied a season high when they recorded 13 steals vs. Providence on Feb. 6.
• UC has made recent improvements in taking care of the basketball. The Bearcats have averaged 10.2 turnovers over their last nine games, including a season-low six turnovers vs. West Virginia on Jan. 20.
• The Bearcats were victims of opponents' comeback rallies in two of their last three games. Cincinnati held a 70-62 lead with 1:41 to play in its Feb. 7 game at Providence, but the Friars scored nine straight points—a pair of treys and a 3-point play—for a 71-70 defeat. UC held a 67-61 advantage over Rutgers with 4:04 remaining, but the Scarlet Knights scored nine unanswered points to take a 70-67 lead with 1:14 on the clock for an eventual 73-69 win on Feb. 10.
• Cincinnati's 96-83 overtime win over West Virginia on Jan. 20 featured the second-largest deficit that the Bearcats had overcome in their history in Fifth Third Arena. UC trailed by 17 points in the first half of the West Virginia contest. Cincinnati has twice overcome 18-point margins for wins in Fifth Third. On Feb. 28, 1998, the Bearcats fought back from 18 points down to defeat Saint Louis, 61-58. They overcame the same size margin on Nov. 28, 2004 for a 76-70 overtime win over Northern Iowa.
• UC tied a season high by shooting .583 (14 of 24) from 3-point range vs. Georgetown on Jan. 27.
• Marcus Sikes' 5-of-5 performance from 3-point range vs. Georgetown (1/27/07) tied the UC single game record for 3-point field goal percentage (minimum five made 3s). Field Williams was 5-of-5 vs. Louisville in 2001-02.
• The Bearcats forced a season-high 32 turnovers, three shy of the school record, in their Dec. 23 win over North Carolina State.
• UC's 17 3-point field goals vs. Wofford (11/21/06) was the third-highest single game total while its 32 attempts was fifth-most.
• Cincinnati notched its 40th consecutive victory in home openers and upped its record to 86-19 in season home openers.
• The Bearcats upped their record in season openers to 87-19. UC has won 25 of its last 26 season openers.
IT'S ACADEMIC: Two Bearcats, Marcus Sikes and Branden Miller, qualified for the Dean's list academic honors after Fall quarter for having grade point averages of 3.5 or above. Three others, John Williamson, Connor Barwin and Mike Williams, posted GPAs of 3.0 or above. The team's GPA was 2.875, a shade lower that the 2.965 of the UC general student body.
LOOKING AHEAD: Cincinnati takes to the road to face DePaul on Saturday, Feb. 25 for a 12 noon EST contest. The Bearcats return to Fifth Third Arena on Wednesday, Feb. 28 to close out their home schedule with a 7 p.m. contest vs. Seton Hall.