(21) Cincinnati (13-3) at Rutgers (11-3)
Saturday, January 12, 8 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Scott Haynes, College Basketball Senior Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: RAC (8,000) -- Piscataway, New Jersey.
Television: FSN-OH. Home Record: Cincinnati 8-3, Rutgers 7-1. Away Record:
Cincinnati 2-0, Rutgers 3-2. Neutral Record: Cincinnati 3-0, Rutgers 1-0.
Conference Record: Cincinnati 1-2, Rutgers 2-1. Series Record: Cincinnati
GAME NOTES: The 21st-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats seek a change of fortunes on
Saturday, as they hit the road for Big East action, taking on the Rutgers
Scarlet Knights in Piscataway.
Mick Cronin's Bearcats cruised through the early stages of the 2012-13 season
with 12 straight wins to open up. However, Cincinnati has hit a bit of a way
in the schedule since, with three losses in the last four games, including two
straight in league play with recent setbacks to St. John's and Notre Dame. The
66-60 loss to the Fighting Irish last Monday dropped Cincinnati to 1-2 in-
Mike Rice's Rutgers squad also only has three losses on the season and has
played extremely well of late. The Scarlet Knights have posted seven wins in
their last eight games, with the lone loss coming in the Big East opener at
seventh-ranked Syracuse. The team has rallied since then with league wins over
both nationally-ranked Pittsburgh (67-62) last weekend and at St. John's
(58-56) on Wednesday.
Cincinnati has dominated this series with wins in 12 of the 16 all-time
meetings. However, Rutgers won the last matchup, 61-54 in Piscataway.
The Bearcats rely heavily on the play of their three-guard set, as Sean
Kilpatrick, Cashmere Wright and JaQuon Parker account for the majority of the
team's offense. Kilpatrick is shooting a modest .432 from the floor, but is
one of the Big East's top scorers at 17.7 ppg. Wright can fill it up as well
(14.3 ppg), as the team's top sniper (42-of-93 from 3-point range) and
distributor (3.6 apg). Parker rounds out the scoring threats at 11.1 ppg. The
scoring pool dries up after that though, as Titus Rubles ranks fourth on the
team at just 6.9 ppg.
The Bearcats simply could not match Notre Dame's efficiency shooting the
basketball and as a result, fell by six points at home to the Irish. Notre
Dame shot 50 percent from the floor, including 9-of-16 from behind the arc.
Kilpatrick was the only Bearcat to finish in double figures in the loss,
netting 15 points. Wright managed just five points, but did dole out eight
assists against just one turnover.
The Scarlet Knights trailed at the half against St. John's on the road, but
rallied over the final 20 minutes to pick up the narrow victory. Dane Miller
led three Knights in double figures with 11 points. Mike Poole and Austin
Jackson played critical roles off the bench, tacking on 10 points each.
Rutgers is averaging a modest 71.1 ppg, but has been efficient for the most
part, converting 47 percent from the floor. Those numbers have taken a hit in
conference play though, as the team is averaging just 59.3 ppg on 41.8 percent
accuracy. There isn't a whole lot of scoring depth on the roster, as only two
players are currently averaging double figures. Eli Carter represents the top
offensive threat at 16.9 ppg, despite shooting a mere 41.4 percent from the
field. Myles Mack is much more efficient at 52.9 percent shooting, and is
netting 12.9 ppg. Miller (8.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and Wally Judge (7.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg)
provide some help.
The Bearcats are in a bit of a slump right now and playing a dangerous Rutgers
team on the road may not be the cure for what ails them.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Rutgers 63, Cincinnati 61
01/12 10:30:59 ET
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