Crosstown Royal Rumble

It wasn't pretty, but for the University of Cincinnati to have any chance for a victory in the latest edition of the Crosstown Shootout they needed to return to the Bearcats of old. All week naysayers gave the Bearcats little or no chance to collect a victory against their crosstown rival, but here were Mick Cronin's crew playing with heart, desire and a hint of Bearcats basketball of the past.

While the final score would favor the hated men in blue, Bearcat fans were glued to their seats until the final minutes when the horn sounded and the scoreboard showed Xavier with a 64-59 victory.

But while the night ended in disappointment, fans walked away feeling their team took a positive step towards getting out of the funk that saw them earn a 4-4 mark entering the game.

The Bearcats set the early when John Williamson floored Xavier point guard Drew Lavender with one of the hardest picks set this season. As on cue Xavier fans let it be known they didn't like the way the Bearcats had come to play on this night. With a first half full of trash-talk between the two teams and more hard play things were starting to look like the Bearcats were prepared to leave the Cintas Center with a victory and a fresh start.

Before the game ended both teams would lose players to injuries as Marvin Gentry was taken off the court on a stretcher after diving for a loose ball and buckling his neck on the knee of linebacker thick Deonta Vaughn's knee.

Xavier would lose Josh Duncan after he suffered a knee injury and then watch as Derrick Brown would go on to score a career-high 17 points with the biggest being a dunk to put Xavier ahead with just over two-minutes remaining in the game.

The Musketeers would hold on as the Bearcats scratched to close the gap only to fall short being forced to foul and allowing Stanley Burrell the chance to be the hero after he was the goat just one year ago.

The Bearcats had a great game plan and held the Musketeers to one of their worst nights of the season only to come up short when it counted most.

Deonta Vaughn and Jamual Warren paced the Bearcats with 10 points each. As a team the Bearcats shot just over 33-percent from the floor and didn't have a block shot on the night.

Xavier would place four players in double figures paced by Derrick Brown's career high 17-points. The Musketeers would hit for just over 38-percent from the floor and block 5 Bearcat shots on the night.

The Bearcats will return to the court on Wednesday, December 19 at Fifth Third Arena against the number two ranked team in the country Memphis.


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