The Bearcats have always been known for their hounding defense, but it seems the offense may be the thing that keeps the Bearcats in games. With their final warm-up game before getting into their regular season, the Bearcats played Bellarmine in Fifth Third Arena.
Cincinnati came out strong and ready to run the floor. They opened up the game with a rim rattling dunk which woke up everyone in Fifth Third. The Bearcats opened the game scoring on their first seven possessions and wasted no time on the boards collecting three offense rebounds before the first TV timeout.
The defense came out strong, forcing nine turnovers in the first half and holding Bellarmine to 9-for-28 shooting or 32%. They pushed the ball on the break and were able to control it well in the half court. It was evident that the 30-second shot clock was causing some struggles for both teams trying to run some half court sets. The Bearcats began to finally pull away at the end of the second half leading 39 - 26.
Much of the same continued into the second half as the Bearcats went 30-for-61 shooting for the game or 49% from the field. They shot 8-for-21 from beyond the arc or 38%.
There defense continued to pressure Bellarmine and forced them to commit 18 turnovers, which is uncommon for this Bellarmine team. After winning the rebounding battle in the first half the Bearcats got out rebounded 34 to 33 for the game which is a key focus for this year's team.
Troy Caupain came out hot, scoring 11 points for the team, but Kevin Johnson was the leading scorer with 19 on the game. Sophomore Quadri Moore was the third leading scorer, also scoring 11 points, and was a big difference in the second half.
The Bearcats lockdown defense and quick-paced offense has provided some fans with the belief that this season could be a special one. With Caupain leading the offense and Octavius Ellis underneath, this team seems ready for the opener against Western Carolina on November 13th.
Note: Still waiting on a box score, but will be linked here when we get it.