Dec. 14, 2005
Ohio pressured Cincinnati for the game's first 20 minutes and took a lead late in the first half, but the Bearcats were too much on their home floor Wednesday night, defeating the Bobcat men's basketball team, 86-58, in Fifth Third Arena.
Junior Whitney Davis (Ann Arbor, Mich.) had perhaps his best outing in an Ohio uniform Wednesday, sparking a first-half Bobcat rally that put Ohio (4-1) ahead and the Bearcats (5-2) on the ropes to the tune of a six-point lead. Davis' 10 first-half points--blended with seven first-half rebounds from Leon Williams (Baltimore, Md.)--kept Ohio on top for a portion of the first frame and limited the Cincinnati lead to one at the break.
The Bearcats came alive in the second half and took control to seal the win. Cincinnati hit 62.5 percent of its shots in the second stanza, and led by point guard Devan Downey's game-high 24 points, put the Bobcats away.
Sonny Troutman (Indianapolis, Ind.) dropped three three-pointers on his way to a team-high 17 points Wednesday. The junior also kicked in six boards and five assists for the Bobcats.
Williams, who picked up his fourth foul with nearly 14 minutes left in the game, fell one point and one rebound shy of a double-double.
Cincinnati capitalized on 18 Bobcat turnovers, scoring 28 points off Ohio miscues. The Bearcats were too much inside for Ohio, outscoring the Bobcats 46-26 in the paint. Ohio did outrebound the Bearcats 41-39 on the night.
The Bearcats rallied in the final moments of the first frame to take a one-point lead into the break. Cincinnati built an early advantage out of the gate, but the Bobcats used a 20-4 run to take a lead that grew as big as six.
Cincinnati came out hot on the offensive end, but was just as effective on the defensive end of the floor early. Ohio wasn't able to reach double figures in the scoring column until nearly eight minutes into the game, but from that point forward the Bobcats began to heat up on the offensive end.
After trailing by as many as 10 in the first half, it didn't take long for the Bobcats to fight back and take control. As the clock dipped under the 10-minute mark, a Mychal Green (Columbus, Ohio) three and a pair of triples from Davis pushed along a run that resulted in a one-point Ohio deficit and a Bearcat timeout to stop the bleeding.
Freshman Jerome Tillman (Beavercreek, Ohio) made his Bobcat debut Wednesday night, contributing immediately. Still recovering from mononucleosis, the 6-foot-6-inch, 237 lb. forward logged eight minutes in the first half, and his bucket in the paint at the 7:15 mark of the first half gave Ohio its first lead of the contest, 24-23, and marked the first points of Tillman's career.
Cincinnati tied the score with just less than two minutes left in the period. Troutman put Ohio back on top with a three-point goal--his second of the half--but a pair of Downey free throws gave the Bearcats a one-point edge, 39-38, as the teams went to intermission.
For the half, Downey led all scorers with 14, but Davis let the Bobcats hang around with 10 points, five boards and a pair of steals. Ohio shot 35.7 percent (15-42) from the floor and 42.9 percent (6-14) from beyond the arc in the first half. Cincinnati connected on 40 percent (14-35) of its attempts from the floor and 30 percent (3-10) of its three-point tries.
The Bobcats outrebounded Cincinnati 27-23 and picked up five more second chance points in the half. Williams carried Ohio on the glass with seven boards, while Troutman and Davis each registered five rebounds.
Williams scored seven points in the half and neutralized Cincinnati big man Eric Hicks, who finished with six rebounds and four points in the first half.
Like the first half, Cincinnati started off the second half hot, but this time the Bearcats put together a lead too heavy for Ohio to recover from.
Ohio tied the game at 40 less than a minute into the second half, but the Bobcats didn't get any closer. Cincinnati took a 10-point lead at the 14:24 mark, then upped the advantage to 22 as the clock dropped below nine minutes.
Ohio shot just 26.1 percent (6-23) in the second half from the floor and knocked down 1-of-10 (10 percent) three-point attempts.
The Ohio sideline was treated to a surprise visit from assistant coach and United States Army Captain Kevin Kuwik Wednesday night. Kuwik, who spent more than a year serving in the military's Operation Iraqi Freedom, returned to the United States from Kuwait in time for Wednesday night's contest. He will now take part in a demobilization process in the United States and is expected to return to the Ohio staff full-time in January. A spot will run on ESPN's SportsCenter tonight highlighting his return.
Having wrapped up the final leg in a three-game road swing, the Bobcats now head back to Athens and the Convocation Center for three of their next four contests. Ohio plays host to Shippensburg this Saturday in The Convo. Tip-time is set for 3 p.m.