(24) Cincinnati (17-4) at Seton Hall (13-8)|
Saturday, February 2, 11 a.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Frank Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Prudential Center (10,862) -- Newark, New Jersey.
Television: ESPNU. Home Record: UC 10-3, SHU 9-2. Away Record: UC 4-1, SHU
3-5. Neutral Record: UC 3-0, SHU 1-1. Conference Record: UC 5-3, SHU 2-6.
Series Record: Cincinnati leads, 7-6.
GAME NOTES: The 24th-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats will try to keep pace in the
race for the Big East Conference regular-season title, and their next test
comes in Saturday's road clash against the Seton Hall Pirates.
Cincinnati brings a 17-4 overall record, and a 5-3 conference mark into this
contest, and the team has won four of its last five games since suffering
back-to-back defeats at home to St. John's and Notre Dame in early January.
The Bearcats' most recent triumph came in their last outing, as they topped
visiting Rutgers on Wednesday night, 62-54. UC is 4-1 in true road games this
season, and 7-1 away from the Queen City all told when you factor in its 3-0
mark in neutral-site affairs.
Despite an impressive run through its non-conference slate, Seton Hall hasn't
enjoyed the same kind of success as its counterpart today, logging a 13-8
overall record, which includes a 2-6 league ledger. The Pirates have lost two
straight, and posted only two wins in the month of the January. A 74-52
setback at Georgetown on Wednesday was the team's most recent, but SHU is
undoubtedly happy to be back in Newark where it has gone 9-2 this season.
Cincinnati owns a 7-6 lead in the all-time series with Seton Hall, and the
Bearcats have won each of the last two meetings.
Sean Kilpatrick scored 19 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out four
assists, all of which were needed to help Cincinnati top visiting Rutgers
earlier this week. The Bearcats' leading scorer on the season, Kilpatrick
(18.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg) had a tough shooting night (5-of-13), but nailed three 3-
pointers and converted 6-of-8 free throws. Center Cheikh Mbodj tallied 10
points as the only other UC player to reach double figures, and the Bearcats
picked up the victory despite shooting just 37.5 percent from the floor,
missing 16 of their 21 long-range bombs in the process. A 21-10 edge in points
from the foul line helped offset the negativity 17 turnovers can often lead
to, as did a 35-27 rebounding advantage. In addition to Kilpatrick, Cashmere
Wright (14.1 ppg, 3.5 apg) and JaQuon Parker (10.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg) have been
consistent contributors to everything the Bearcats like to do, the team
accounting for 72.6 ppg in hitting 42.4 percent from the floor, which includes
33.6 percent from beyond the arc, while at the same time yielding a meager
58.8 ppg on just 37.3 percent field goal efficiency.
Seton Hall boasts three double-digit scorers of its own, as Fuquan Edwin (16.7
ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 2.5 spg), Eugene Teague (12.0 ppg, 7.9 rpg) and Aaron
Crosby (11.9 ppg, 3.0 apg) have done their best to help the team record more
victories than defeats. Still, the Pirates have been rather careless with the
basketball, averaging 16.1 turnovers per outing, and they're permitting nearly
65 ppg. Poor shooting was clearly the reason SHU didn't win at Georgetown the
last time out, as the team connected on only 32.6 percent of its field goal
attempts, which included a dismal 27.3 percent effort in the second half. Only
5-of-20 3-point tries found the bottom of the net, and it certainly didn't
help that the Pirates coughed the ball up a whopping 25 times. Brian Oliver
scored 13 points to pace the club, while Crosby chipped in with 12 points and
five rebounds. He was however, guilty of a team-high six giveaways.
Significant deficits in points in the paint (16-30), off turnovers (10-28) and
from the reserves (12-24) played an integral role in the outcome as well.
The Pirates have talent, but they just aren't on the same level as some of the
better teams in the Big East, which Cincinnati clearly is. Expect the home
team to play hard, but for the visitors to prevail nonetheless.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cincinnati 72, Seton Hall 62
02/02 10:31:46 ET