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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 16, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Fifth Third Arena (13,176) -- Cincinnati, Ohio. Television: FSN-OH. Home Record: Appalachian State 0-1, Cincinnati 2-0. Away Record: Appalachian State 0-1, Cincinnati 0-0. Neutral Record: Appalachian State 0-0, Cincinnati 0-0. Conference Record: Appalachian State 0-0, Cincinnati 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAMES NOTES: As part of their season-opening seven-game homestand the Cincinnati Bearcats will entertain the Appalachian State Mountaineers in a non-league tussle at Fifth Third Arena.
For Appalachian State the first win of the season has yet to be posted in the standings. The Mountaineers followed up a 98-77 setback in last Friday's season opener against NC State with a 73-66 disappointment at home against Campbell this past Tuesday. The success for the Mountaineers away from home has been limited recently. In 15 tries last season the Mountaineers were only able to land a win on the road four times.
Mick Cronin's squad has carried over its defensive intensity from last year en route to a solid 2-0 start. The Bearcats dropped North Carolina Central, 74-61, to kick off the campaign and added another win with a 68-57 triumph over NC State. Cincinnati, which ranked in the top 25 nationally in points allowed and opponent field-goal percentage a year ago, managed to earn 13 wins in 18 tries at Fifth Third Arena during the 2012-13 season.
Saturday's duel will mark the first meeting between these two programs.
Leading scorer Tevin Baskin (14.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg) really had a falling off between the season opener and the second game of the season for the Mountaineers. Baskin poured in 24 points in the loss to NC State but had just four points on 2-of-8 shooting against Campbell. Mike Neal (13.0 ppg) was a major reason the Mountaineers survived as he recorded 20 points, connecting on 7-of-16 shots from the field. Michael Obacha (5.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg) hasn't been much of a scorer, but he ripped down 15 rebounds against Campbell, while Tabarris Hamilton (10.5 ppg) and Chris Burgess (10.5 ppg) have provided some offensive punch.
Cincinnati is Sean Kilpatrick's team and there really hasn't been much evidence otherwise through two games. Kilpatrick has had over 20 points in each contest, including the 21 he dropped in against NC State. Kilpatrick can hit shots from beyond the arc but is also adept at getting to the rim to score. His size also makes him an extremely effective defensive presence on the wings. Getting help for Kilpatrick is the key to the Bearcats' season. Thus far Titus Rubles (13.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg) has done his part with consistent efforts in both games including 14 points and seven rebounds against NC State. The Bearcats could also use more consistent effort from Justin Jackson, who had 10 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots last time out.
Cronin's teams are always strong on the defensive end and he will certainly have them ready to key in on Baskin and Neal. With their top scorers fighting to get shot attempts the Mountaineers will have a hard time outpacing Kilpatrick's scoring, especially if Rubles and Jackson continue to fill it up down low.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cincinnati 71, Appalachian State 57
11/16 10:42:16 ET
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