Jefferson challenges Marvin Gentry
Dave Bezold will never rely on the local media to provide scouting
reports on future opponents. Not after what happened Wednesday night
when Northern Kentucky University visited the University of Cincinnati.
prove the local scribes of doom wrong in their predictions, Cincinnati
held NKU to just two field goals in the first half en route to an
87-41 victory over the Norse in Fifth Third Arena. The Bearcats
- picked by several reporters and talk-show hosts to lose the exhibition
game against Division II NKU - shot 60 percent from the field and
rolled to the win over the Norse.
reading in the media about how we had more experience. But as you
can see, they've got some pretty good players," Bezold said.
"Those guys are tough, they're strong and they're going to
surprise some people.
surprised by their physical presence because this is the Big East
and the University of Cincinnati. It just shows the difference between
a high-major Division I body and a Division II body."
held a 2-0 lead just 18 seconds into the game when James Cripe took
a pass from Steven Wright and powered his way in for a basket. UC,
however, countered with a 10-0 run and NKU never recovered.
Two free throws
by Billy Finnell cut the UC lead to 10-4, but the Bearcats used
a 14-0 run to build a 24-4 advantage with 10:31 remaining in the
first half. John Williamson and Cedric McGowan each scored five
points during the UC spurt.
basically came out with a lot of hustle, and we got the loose balls
and made plays," said McGowan, the only returning starter from
last season's 21-13 team. "We knew we had to get in there defensively
and offensively. We found that although we are small, we are very
fast and effective."
made Mick Cronin's debut as head coach a comfortable experience
by building a 47-11 lead at halftime. NKU shot just 2-for-13 from
the field, missed all eight of its 3-point attempts and committed
17 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes. Many of the NKU turnovers
led to transition baskets by the Bearcats.
either score or you can't. It doesn't matter what level you're at,"
Bezold said of his team's shooting woes. "We stress fundamentals
so much every single day and then to turn the ball over 17 times
in the first half."
Wright looks for an opening
NKU hit nine
3-pointers in the second half, but UC continued its torrid shooting
from the field (53.8 percent) and coasted to the win. The Bearcats
won the rebounding battle by a 42-19 margin and committed just 13
with a game-high 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds in his UC
debut. The 6-foot-6 junior forward was 8-for-12 from the field.
McGowan added 18 points and five rebounds, while Marvin Gentry scored
Wright led NKU
with nine points and five rebounds. Anthony Teague scored seven
points, while Mark Hawkins added six points and a team-leading three
assists. The Norse finished by hitting 26.7 percent of their shots
from the field.
NKU is now 0-6
against UC in exhibition games. The average margin of victory for
the Bearcats in those exhibitions is 30.3 points per game.
goal was to outhustle our opponent, which is always our first goal.
And we did that, especially the first half," Cronin said. "Our
defensive hand activity was great. Our shot selection was great.
Our passing went well."
UC, in fact,
dished out 20 assists as a team. NKU, meanwhile, finished with six
assists. Ronald Allen blocked three shots for the Bearcats, while
Williamson added two rejections.
NKU will finish
its exhibition schedule next Monday at 7 p.m. with a game at Xavier
in the Cintas Center. The Norse begin the regular season Nov. 17
against Ferris State in the opening round of the John L. Griffin/Lions
Club Classic in Regents Hall.