They say games like those played by the Bearcats on Saturday night can build or destroy a team early in the season. Playing against a team with nothing to lose, Mick Cronin and his young Bearcats learned not to look at the uniforms when you play a hot shooting team like Eastern Kentucky.
Hitting for a better percentage from behind the three-point line than they did on other parts of the court, Eastern Kentucky had 6,200 fans thinking the Bearcats had forgotten to show up for the nights contest.
Mike Rose would hit for 25 against the Bearcats including going 4-7 from three helping the Colonels build a 4-point lead going into the half. But the Bearcats battled back and towards the end of the second half looked as if they could pull out a victory.
Eastern Kentucky wasn't going to go away as Rose would bring his team back giving them a two point advantage with just four seconds on the clock.
Cronin had his team ready as Deonta Vaughn would take the inbound pass coast-to-coast setting up a lob to freshman Yancy Gates who would slam it down with a tick left and the score tied at 73 each.
Vaughn would give Cronin all the credit after the game.
"It was exactly how coach drew it up. He told us just to play solid. We didn't expect them to play defense like that, but that is how he drew it up."
Looking back this was a great performance by Cronin who got his troops to fight back after going down by 15 points with 7:19 left in the first half. The Bearcats would take a two point lead with 1:29 left in the second half only to see Rose make a layup making the score 71-71.
EKU looked poised to win the game as Rose would hit two free throws giving the Colonels a two point advantage and setting up the Gates dunk.
In overtime the Bearcats would get hot from the free throw line as Mike Williams would knock down 4 of 5 from the charity strip and Gates and Vaughn would both hit key shots.
The victory moved the Bearcats to 9-2 overall with two more games remaining before they start Big East play.
Bearcat Insider Game Ball
Mike Williams stood up and was accounted for on Saturday night as he scored 13 points and pulled down 16 rebounds in 40 minutes of play.
The senior from Camden, Alabama still looks to be getting back into form but his play was some of the best we've see so far this season.
Bearcats Fight Back For Overtime Win
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