The Bearcats began the game with only five players as Damon Flint, Deonta Vaughn and Rashad Bishop all arrived well into the first half of the contest, only Flint saw very limited first half action. Vaughn was a bit tardy in picking up Bishop for the game. The duo arrived with about 3 minutes remaining in the half. Because of the shrunken roster, the Slats' starters were Alvin Mitchell, Darnell Wilks, Kenny Belton, Mike Williams and Larry Davis.
Slats trailed Brick St. by a 53-44 score at the half. Mike Williams and Alvin Mitchell led Slats with 12 points a piece while Kenny Belton chipped in with 11 points. Belton was 5 of 6 from the line in the half, and unexplainedly, his only miss at the charity stripe was an air ball. Kenny Hayes led Brick St. with 18 points in the half and was outstanding. Hayes was recruited to Cincinnati State by Bearcat video coordinator Andre Tate, but UC didn't really recruit Hayes, and he signed early with Charlie Coles and his Miami Redhawks.
Both Alvin Mitchell and Mike Williams recorded blocked shots in the first half for Slats, and Kenny Belton continued his aggressive play diving on the floor for a loose ball and taking a rare charge in the second half. Belton has taken three charges in the last three games.
The second half starting line-up for Slats was Deonta Vaughn, Mike Williams, Alvin Mitchell, Kenny Belton and Rashad Bishop. Bishop's and Vaughn's offense suffered by not having adequate warm-up time. There is only about 1-2 minutes between halves. Rashad missed a pair of free throws and scored no points, and Deonta threw up an early airball three point attempt before eventually getting two baskets for 4 points. But Vaughn's defense and a slight ankle injury to Hayes with 11 minutes remaining seemed to combine to play a key role in Slats' comeback. Hayes had only six free throws in the 2nd half before the buzzer beating three point shot that won the game for Brick Street.
Ex-Bearcat great, Damon Flint connected on a crucial three pointer for Slats with only seconds remaining to tie the game at 81 until Hayes saved the day for his club.
As good as Belton was from the line in the 1st half, he was that bad in the second going 1 for 4 and scoring only that one point for a total of 12 points for the game. In my unofficial stats, I had Mike Williams as Slats leading scorer with 24 points and Slats' leading rebounder. Williams also contributed heavily to fouling out Miami grad Nathan Peavy (6 fouls) with 59 seconds remaining in the game. Alvin Mitchell chipped in with 21 points for Slats and had ice on his knee after the game due to an injury he said he sustained in the 1st half. Newcomer Darnell Wilks had 8 points; Larry Davis had 5.
Slats becomes the #6 seed in the tourney with a 4-5 regular season record and will get a rematch against Goodies Barbecue Restaurant on Tuesday at 7:30. Slats lost to Goodies last Thursday as Xavier's C. J. Anderson hit for 25 points.