Bearcats Down Fairfield

The Bearcats improved to 3-2 on the season with a five point win over Fairfield on Saturday afternoon at Fifth Third Arena. Freshman Rashad Bishop led the Bearcat attack with 12 points and the team received a lift from two other freshmen to seal the win.

Mick Cronin and his Cincinnati Bearcats improved to 3-2 on the season with a five point 69-64 win over the Fairfield Stags at Fifth Third Arena Saturday afternoon.

Cincinnati Freshman forward Rashad Bishop led the Bearcats with 12 points to go along with a solid defensive effort. Bishop played 24 minutes shooting 5-8 from the field. In the second half he deflected several passes and hit a huge three pointer as the shot clock expired with 2:25 to go in the game to push the UC lead to 10. Bishop followed that up with a 360 degree lay-up to finish a fast break and all but end any hope for Fairfield.

Fairfield coach Ed Cooley felt the difference in the game was turnovers and experience going down the stretch. UC took advantage of the ball handling miscues and converted into transition baskets. "They had some easy baskets on their end that we couldn't contend and we didn't' have that on our end. I think their length inside bothered us…" The game plan was to control Deonta Vaughn, "when it comes to catch and shoot he is as good as they come". To some extent the strategy worked as Vaughn had to compete to get open looks ending his day with 11 points on 3 of 10 shooting. The tight play did turn into 5 free throw attempts converting on 4.

UC Coach, Mick Cronin afterward said, "This was the best defense we have played all year." For the game Fairfield shot 32.1% from the field and 37% for three point land. The Stags missed 48 shots on the game; in the second half they only made three baskets inside the arc.

Darnell Wilks gave came off the bench in the first half to give the Bearcats a big offensive boost with strong drives to the basket and finished with impressive dunks. Cronin thinks that Wilks is a great talent who is probably 20 pounds and a year of experience away from being a real force. Coach Cronin made the comparison to the former Xavier standout James Posey. The development of Darnell Wilks will go along way in determining how successful this team will be. With his quickness and long arms he could be a real force once he fully understands how to play at this level.

Also off the bench was Larry Davis who gave the Bearcats a defensive boost and allowed them to turn to the press. One of the best compliments a player can get is from his teammate, Deonta Vaughn said "I like it when Larry is in the game, we can both handle the ball and press." Davis also hit a big three pointer after Fairfield had closed the lead to one with 9 minutes to go.

Coach Cronin thought a major concern from today's was the lack of offensive rebounds, Fairfield won the rebounding battle but UC's offensive glass effort was the story where the Bearcats only grabbed 6 total boards. John Williamson grabbed 3 and no other player had more than one. Adam Hrycaniuk played 26 minutes and had no rebounds on the offensive end; he did gather 5 defensive boards. Coach Cronin said, "I'm concerned with our lack of scoring, but our lack of scoring is because we are a one and out team." "For us to be good we need Adam to get rebounds on the offensive end".

Injury Update

Jamual Warren is week to week for his return. Every week his cast is taken off and the injury is evaluated. He will definitely not play Monday night but as soon as he is cleared he will begin practicing. Warren has been running but will need to get a few practices under his belt to get up to full speed. As for now Deonta Vaughn has to run the point for not only the games but also thru practice, the concern is that Vaughn will start wearing down.

John Williamson has a broken tooth that will require a root canal on Monday. He played through the pain but his game may have suffered as he shot only 3 of 9 for the day. He is not expected to miss any games.

Next Game

The Bearcats are in action again Monday night at home against the South Carolina Upstate Spartans. Bearcat Insider will have a game preview and be on hand to get the inside story.

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