(11) Cincinnati (9-0) vs. Marshall (6-4)
Saturday, December 15, 2 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Lucas Gulotta, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Charleston Civic Center (12,380) -- Charleston, West Virginia. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Cincinnati 7-0, Marshall 5-0. Away Record: Cincinnati 0-0, Marshall 0-2. Neutral Record: Cincinnati 2-0, Marshall 1-2. Conference Record: Cincinnati 0-0, Marshall 0-0. Series Record: Cincinnati leads, 19-12.
GAME NOTES: The Marshall Thundering Herd will be without their leading scorer when they take on the 11th-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats at the Charleston Civic Center on Saturday.
Saturday's game will be the first for Marshall without DeAndre Kane (16 ppg, 8.5 apg), who currently ranks second in the nation in assists per game and leads the team in scoring, as he recovers from an injury to his shooting hand. Tom Herrion's squad won four of its last five games to improve to 6-4 overall, with its only loss coming to intrastate rival WVU in Charleston, West Virginia. Marshall held off Coppin State to earn a 69-63 decision its last time out, which left it with an average of 75.4 ppg on 43.8 percent shooting from the floor.
Cincinnati is currently climbing the ranks as it has yet to lose through nine games. The Bearcats completed a 92-60 rout of Maryland-Eastern Shore last Saturday to improve to 7-0 at home, but they have still not played a true road game. They are 2-0 at neutral sites thanks to triumphs over Iowa State and Oregon in the Global Sports Classic in Las Vegas. Mick Cronin's team is tremendous on the offensive end with an average of 84.2 ppg. The Bearcats are permitting only 59.2 ppg on 34.1 percent shooting to their foes.
This will be the 32nd time these teams square off on the hardwood. Although Marshall won last season's meeting 73-69 in overtime at Fifth Third Arena, Cincinnati holds a 19-12 all-time lead in the rivalry's history.
Since Cashmere Wright's game-winning jumper as time expired versus Alabama, Cincy ran through its bouts with Arkansas-Little Rock (87-53) and UMES (92-60). During the two-game span, the Bearcats have drained 47.9 percent of their field goal attempts including 16 from long range. They won the rebounding battle by an average of 15.5 boards per contest and forced an average of 22.5 turnovers in those two games as well. Junior swingman Sean Kilpatrick continued to be a force on the offensive end and enters with a team-high average of 20 ppg which he is accompanying with 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per contest. Wright is producing 15 points, 3.6 assists, and 2.5 steals per game while JaQuon Parker is carrying an 11 ppg mark. No other UC player is scoring in double figures or averaging 20 minutes or more per outing.
After trailing by as many as 12 in the first half, the Thundering Herd fought back by making 26 baskets on 21 assists and holding a dominant 47-29 edge in the rebounding battle. Junior guard D.D. Scarver led all players in the contest with 20 points, while senior forward Dennis Tinnon notched a double- double with 15 points and rebounds. With Kane out, Scarver (14.8 ppg), Elijah Pittman (14.2 ppg), and Tinnon (11.4 ppg, 9.7 rpg) will have to pick up the slack. Sophomore Chris Martin from St. Patrick's High School in New Jersey is expected to make his second start of the season in place of Kane.
Without Kane, Marshall's chances of upsetting Cincy for a second straight year are slim. The Herd's ability to rebound the ball is rivaled by few, which could keep them in the game. However, they will have a difficult time limiting turnovers and slowing down the Bearcats' backcourt trio.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cincinnati 81, Marshall 70
12/15 10:32:59 ET