Lipscomb (4-5) at (25) Cincinnati (6-3)
Saturday, December 19th, 2:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Ralph Lauro, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Fifth Third Arena (13,176) -- Cincinnati, Ohio. Television: FSN-Ohio. Home Record: Lipscomb 2-2, Cincinnati 4-0. Away Record: Lipscomb 2-3, Cincinnati 0-2. Neutral Record: Lipscomb 0-0, Cincinnati 2-1. Conference Record: Lipscomb 1-1, Cincinnati 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The 25th-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats will try to get back on track with the start of a three-game homestand today, as they welcome the Lipscomb Bison to Fifth Third Arena for a non-league matchup.
The Bearcats are returning from a two-game road trip that didn't go so well. Cincinnati opened the trip with a double-overtime loss to Xavier (83-79) before suffering its worst defeat of the season, a 64-47 setback at UAB on Wednesday. Now at 6-3 overall, the Bearcats return back home, where they have gone 4-0 thus far.
As for the Bison, they have started to heat up after a slow start, winning two straight and four of their past five outings. The team most recently hosted Division II Oakland City and came away with an easy 105-68 victory on December 12th. Lipscomb is now 4-5 on the campaign and in search of its first- ever win against a ranked opponent.
Today's contest marks the first-ever meeting between Lipscomb and Cincinnati on the hardwood.
The Bison are putting up an impressive 85.2 ppg this season, but that has come at the expense of some defense, as they are giving up 83.8 ppg. Adnan Hodzic is the one of the top scorers around, averaging a healthy 21.8 ppg, and he is also the team's top rebounder at 7.4 rpg. Josh Slater is another scoring threat with 17.0 ppg and he is the engineer of this offense, distributing a team-best 5.4 apg. In the team's last game, Hodzic poured in 25 points and collected seven caroms to pace Lipscomb in a rout of Oakland City. The Bison dominated just about every aspect of the game, shooting 56.9 percent from the floor, 11-of-20 from long range and 20-of-26 at the foul line.
The Bearcats shot a horrific 31.7 percent from the floor, including a dismal 3-of-22 showing from beyond the arc, as they were handled by UAB on Wednesday. Cincinnati was also outscored at the foul line, 11-6, and it even lost the battle on the boards, 47-34. Dion Dixon was the only player for the Bearcats to reach double figures, finishing with 13 points off the bench. Lance Stephenson chipped in with eight points and he continues to pace the squad in scoring with 12.3 ppg for the season. Yancy Gates puts forth 11.8 ppg and a team-high 7.3 rpg, while Deonta Vaughn adds 10.3 ppg and a team-best 3.8 apg to the mix. The Bearcats aren't all that explosive, but they make up for that on defense, holding challengers to just 38.5 percent shooting from the floor.
Cincinnati should be able to slow Lipscomb, meanwhile, the Bearcats' offense could get going and post a big point total today.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cincinnati 88, Lipscomb 64
12/19 10:37:40 ET