Defensively the Bearcats again were dominating as they held the Tigers to just 33 percent from the field and 26.1 percent from behind the three point line. Cincinnati also created 13 turnovers in the game and held Texas Southern to 7-of-33 from the field in the first half and out rebounded the Tigers 47-25.
Lance Stephenson stepped up defensively and held DeAndre Hall to 2-9 shooting and only five points, the fourth consecutive game Stephenson has taken on the challenge of the other team's best offensive weapon. "He was by far our best defender in Maui, he shutdown Jeffrey Taylor, Shawn Mosley, and holds Matt Boldin to one basket. Tonight, DeAndre Hall for them has two baskets, that is who he defended. Said Mick Cronin"
Offensively the Bearcats played very well and show great unselfishness as Cincinnati had 24 assists on 35 field goals. Another sign of unselfishness was Deonta Vaughn who offered his starting spot for tonight to Dion Dixon who played excellent in Maui. Cincinnati shot over 57 percent from the field for the game and added nine three point makes, the one item of concern on the offensive end was the Bearcats inability to finish at the free throw line going 15-26, 57.7 percent. Depth is a huge weapon as ten Bearcats played at least eleven minutes and no one played more then the 27 minutes Stephenson played.
One thing that did disappoint Mick Cronin however was the attendance.
"I challenge the guys to come out tonight with the same focus we had in Maui and same intensity. I also talk to the guys about trying to win our fans over and send a message to our fan that we are for real, and we need your support to try to get our arena filled back up, said Cronin."
The question to Mick Cronin was, are you disappointed with the turnout? Cronin's response was "Yeah Absolutely, with this students including…. Were ranked in the top 25, I understand the frustration with the dismissal of a legendary coach… but it was four years ago and as we sit here today were ranked 22nd in the AP poll, With a team that plays three freshman and two sophomores, red shirting another really good freshman, and one of our best players hasn't even played yet. We got a seven foot three point shooter and shot blocker who hasn't played yet."
As for the Freshman Update, Stephenson played an excellent game, scoring seven points, grabbing eleven rebounds, and dished out seven assists. Jaquon Parker played 23 minutes, scoring ten points, grabbed seven rebounds, and had three assists. Cashmere Wright only played 16 minutes due to foul trouble, scoring one point, having three assists and three turnovers on 0-4 shooting and going 1-4 from the free throw line. "He is still not there; the hardest position is the guy with ball. I want him to do exactly what I want him to do every time. So there is more pressure on him" Said Mick Cronin.
The other news of the day was the return of former Bearcat and now Texas Southern assistant coach Nick Van Exel to Fifth Third Arena. Thoughts on Van Exel from senior guard Deonta Vaughn "We know what he'd done (at UC)….. We seen Nick play a lot of times, Rashad probable wasn't born (referring to Rashad Bishop)…. It's great to have a player who played here coach against us. He (meaning Van Exel) told us after the game to beat Xavier, in the walk through line."