Drama, Defense, and Dumb Refs
The Cincinnati Bearcats beat the Houston Cougars last night at BB&T arena and was it a doozy. If you turned off your TV mid way through the first half or better yet hurled it through a window hopefully you found a way to watch the end of the first half and whole second half. We witnessed the Bearcats yet again come out flat. As flat as they have been all year really. Shots weren’t falling and the defensive effort was sub par for Cronin’s liking. It seemed like the Cougars couldn’t miss in the first half. From the field, from 3 or from the line. Everything was falling early.
In the first 11 minutes or so the Bearcats had 8 turnovers. Cane Broom had a couple passes so telegraphed by 93 yr old grandpa could have intercepted them. Houston surged to an 18 point lead! It got ugly quick. I really thought Cronin was going to bite off Cane’s head,literally. He had a crazy look in his eye. The Cougars shot 50% from the field and from behind the 3 point line.
With about 7 minutes to go in the first half the Bearcats woke up and they were on a mission. The Bearcats started playing like the #8 Cincinnati Bearcats should play every minute. Brook played very strong in the minutes he got and had two early dunks to keep a pulse. Gary Clark hit two big shots from behind the 3 point line, the Bearcats started playing defense and then Kyle Washington woke up completely, thought, hey this is my senior year let me ball out! He hit a big 3 and the ‘Cats showed life.
My thought process was, we have to get this lead down to single digits or hell at least down to 10 before the half.
Then came Jacob Evans III.
— Cincinnati Men’s Hoops (@GoBearcatsMBB) February 1, 2018
Just like that the lead was down to 3 points going into halftime!
Still, I could not imagine what was happening in the locker room with Mick Cronin going absolutely insane. Whatever happened it worked and has all season.
Gary Clark went out and got yet another double double. Teams should just spot him 10 and 10 to start the game at this point. It’s going to happen one way or another.
Jarron Cumberland continues to improve. His defense is already solid but it’s getting better every game.
Justin Jenifer had a big 3 for us in the first half to keep a pulse as well.
Jacob Evans III showed last night why he’s better than Rob Gray. Evans is in another league, that’ll be quiet literal next year when Evans is in the league and Rob Gray and his man bun are in the Euro league. Evans would not be denied. He finished with 18 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and just 2 turnovers. He also played all 40 minutes.
Kyle Washington. The Senior Kyle Washington had himself a night. He finished with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 huge blocks for the Bearcats in 26 minutes. He was on a roll and would not be denied. The Kyle Washington Mean Face lives!
This game featured 7 lead changed and 7 ties. The Bearcats beat the Cougars 30-22 in the paint and 9-4 on points off fast breaks. The ‘Cats had the slight edge in rebounds as well with 39-32.
For the most part Houston’s senior leader and human man bun was held in check all night. He finished with 9 points and 6 assists.
The Bearcats visit Houston in just 16 days. I’m sure that’ll be just as fun as last night.
A note on the refs. They were horrible. Almost as bad as the Memphis game. Jarron was called for a foul on a box out. A text book box out. JEIII was called for a foul and wasn’t close to a player going up for a layup. Both Clark and Washington were in foul trouble the second half. Along with a handful of other calls it wasn’t a good night for the black and white stripes.
If we can continue to get these kinds of tests and power through this level of adversity and win this team is going to be special.
The final score was 80-70 Bearcats.
We can’t forget about the Beer of the Game because there will be plenty of Cougar Fan’s tears after this one.
— GoBeercats (@GoBeercats) January 31, 2018