CINCINNATI – The one-two punch of junior Deonta Vaughn (Indianapolis, Ind./Harmony Community) and senior Mike Williams (Camden, Ala./Wilcox Central) carried the University of Cincinnati's men's basketball team to a 73-61 victory over Northern Kentucky in its final exhibition game of the 2008-09 campaign at Fifth Third Arena on Tuesday evening.
Vaughn scored 16 of his game-high 24 points in the second half, which included three 3-pointers. Williams scored 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and grabbed a team-high five rebounds.
An alley-oop dunk from sophomore Larry Davis (Houston, Texas/Alief-Hastings) to sophomore Darnell Wilks (Nashville, Tenn./Pioneer Christian), followed by a Davis free throw, sealed a 73-61 triumph over Northern Kentucky, despite the fact that consecutive three-pointers by Northern Kentucky brought the Norse within nine points, 70-61, with 2:17 to play.
Vaughn single-handedly kept the Norse from closing within 10 points by scoring 14 consecutive points for the Bearcats to maintain the Cincinnati advantage at 15 points, 62-47, with 8:08 to play.
After a Davis lay-up gave UC its largest lead of the game, 48-30, the Norse slowly chipped away at their deficit and eventually closed to within 11 points, 51-40, with 12:42 to play.
UC opened the second half on a 13-6 run to extend its nine-point half time lead to 16 points with 16:43 remaining in the game. Ten of Cincinnati's 13 points during that span came in the paint as five different Bearcats contributed to the run.
UC led 31-22 at the break, despite going scoreless from the field for the final four minutes of the half. The Bearcats were 3-of-4 from the charity stripe and held the Norse scoreless during that span.
Tied at 18 apiece with 8:39 on the clock, Cincinnati worked its way inside out to widen its margin to eight points, 26-18, with 5:12 to play in the opening half. Williams made a contested lay-up and went one-of-two from the line during the run, while freshman Dion Dixon (Chicago, Ill./Crane Technical) hit a step-back three-pointer from the left wing before junior Steve Toyloy (West Palm Beach, Fla./Palm Beach Lakes) muscled in a bucket in the paint to cap off the run.
The Bearcats hit just two of eight shots from the 17:02 mark to the 10:55 mark as the Norse used a 12-5 run to take its first lead of the game, 15-14.
UC hit its first four shots en route to a 9-2 scoring run to start the game. The run included a trey by Vaughn and back-to-back turnaround jumpers from the block by Williams.
Cincinnati tips off the regular season on Sunday, Nov. 16, versus the South Dakota Coyotes in Fifth Third Arena. Game time for Sunday's contest has been changed from Noon to 6 p.m.
Vaughn & Williams Carry Bearcats
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