Deonta Vaughn is back to his scoring ways, and not a moment too late. Just a minute and a half into Wednesday's game, the
Vaughn led all scorers with 21 points, and what was a close, back-and-forth game all night would fittingly come down to the very end. With 12.9 seconds left to play and UC holding their one-point lead, a missed free throw by Adam Hyrcaniuk would give the basketball to USF and freshman guard Dominique Jones. Jones took the ball coast to coast, and it appeared
The one-point loss by USF was their second in as many games, after falling 74-73 against UConn Saturday night.
Junior guard Jesus Verdejo scored a team high 19 points for South Florida, and Jones would add 16 of his own in the losing effort. Verdejo came into the contest averaging just over 10 points per game. Gransberry, who leads his team in scoring with 17.2 points per game on the season, struggled to just seven, taking over 24 minutes before hitting his first field goal. Hyrcaniuk and freshman Anthony "Biggie" McClain were mostly responsible for the impressive UC defense against one of the best big men in the Big East, forcing him to shoot just two of ten from the field on the night. Gransberry was able to pull down game high 16 rebounds however, and
The Bearcats defense was impressive, causing 15 South Florida turnovers to help their unbalanced offense. Marcus Sikes came off the bench and scored eight points to be UC's second leading scorer on the night. With the win,
The win also put the Bearcats into a three way tie for fifth place in the Big East, with five games remaining in the regular season. Their eight conference wins are four times as many as they achieved all of last season, a year in which they finished with a 2-14 Big East record. This season has provided UC an opportunity to seek revenge against their Big East foes, including USF.
"They stomped us last year," said Bearcat senior Jamal Warren of the Bulls on Monday. "This whole year we have been trying to pay people back."
Coach Cronin called Wednesday's game a must-win game if his team had any hope of playing in the post season. A victory over