Villanova (15-9) at Cincinnati (18-6)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, February 12, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Fifth Third Arena (13,176) -- Cincinnati, Ohio.
Television: PHL17, FSN-OH, MASN. Home Record: Villanova 9-4, Cincinnati 10-4.
Away Record: Villanova 5-4, Cincinnati 5-2. Neutral Record: Villanova 1-1,
Cincinnati 3-0. Conference Record: Villanova 6-5, Cincinnati 6-5. Series
Record: Villanova leads, 6-3.
GAMES NOTES: After dropping out of the nationally rankings the Cincinnati
Bearcats will try to right the ship when they host the Villanova Wildcats in a
Big East Conference conflict at Fifth Third Arena on Tuesday night.
Villanova easily got past South Florida on Saturday with a 68-40 victory. The
win was the second straight for the Wildcats who had lost back-to-back games
previously. Villanova is 15-9 overall on the campaign but a middling 6-5 in
league action that has it tied with Cincinnati for just ninth in the Big East
Last Monday Cincinnati was seated at No. 17 in the top-25. However, after
consecutive setbacks to Providence (54-50) and Pittsburgh (62-52) the Bearcats
fell out of the national rankings. Cincinnati still owns an impressive 18-6
overall mark but is nowhere near the upper echelon in terms of the Big East
This is the first and only scheduled meeting of the season between these
squads. Last year Cincinnati won both meetings to end a three-game winning
streak for Villanova which has a 6-3 all-time series lead.
Villanova held South Florida to just 11 total field goals on 23.4 percent
shooting on Saturday. That included a 1-of-17 showing from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile the Wildcats were successful on 52.4 percent of their shots from the
field and 7-of-13 from 3-point range.
Led by three players in double figures for the season, Villanova has managed
to rank just ninth in the Big East in scoring (69.5 ppg), while shooting at
the third worst percentage from the floor (.416). Relying to heavily on one-
on-one plays is a part of the offensive mediocrity as the team is second to
last in the conference in assists. The Wildcats do play solid defense though
forcing teams to shoot just under 40 percent from the floor. JayVaughn
Pinkston (!2.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg) is the leading scorer on the squad though he has
been used primarily to create a spark off the bench. Darrun Hilliard (11.7
ppg) and Ryan Arcidiacono (11.2 ppg) are the other two scoring options, though
Arcidiacono has been erratic (.341 FG percentage) in shooting the ball during
his freshman season.
For the fifth straight game the Bearcats were unable to reach the 60-point
plateau against Pittsburgh. Cincinnati shot just 30.8 percent from the field
and 4-of-25 from 3-point range in the loss. Sean Kilpatrick scored 16 points
as the only player in double figures for the Bearcats but he needed 15 shots
to do so. Meanwhile, Cashmere Wright had just five points on 2-of-12 shooting.
As Kilpatrick (18.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and Wright (13.5 ppg, 3.3 apg) go so goes
the Bearcats. The duo have proved to be one of the best backcourts in the Big
East with Kilpatrick actually fourth in the conference in points as well.
JaQuoan Parker (10.5 ppg) also makes his living out of the backcourt, while no
other player scores in double figures on the roster. With limited scoring
options, especially on the interior, the Bearcats have relied heavily on shots
from the outside, although they rank just 13th in field-goal percentage (.416)
in the Big East. Luckily Cincinnati is a very good defensive unit, holding
teams to just 58.8 points per game on 37.8 percent shooting. Each of those
marks is among the top 30 nationally.
With Kilpatrick's size the Wildcats will struggle to match up with the
Bearcats in the backcourt. If Cincinnati keeps up the heat defensively, a win
should be in order.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cincinnati 68, Villanova 61
02/12 10:32:44 ET