Let’s call it the calm before the storm.
The Cincinnati Bearcats cruised to an 85-56 victory over Bowling Green on Sunday night. The outcome was never in doubt as the Bearcats masterfully avoided falling victim to the ‘trap game’.
Kyle Washington dominated the Bowling Green bigs, who just didn’t have an answer for him all night. Washington scored a career high 24 points while sophomore Justin Jenifer added his own career high of 14 points. By the end of the game - just as Zack Tobler’s three swished through the net - it felt much more like a celebration than a contest.
The game was a prime example of what this team is capable of accomplishing offensively. A different Bearcat seemed to step up every few minutes.
Jenifer was the first to get hot.
Cincinnati was off to a sluggish start when Mick Cronin went to his bench after just a couple of possessions. Jenifer came in and scored five quick points to give Cincinnati a 6-5 lead at the first break. After Jenifer, Caupain checked back into the game and quickly realized the Bowling Green guards just couldn’t guard him. He scored 10 points in a five minute span and helped give the Bearcats separation. Then it was Kyle Washington’s turn, and he never let up. Washington hit 11 of 13 shots, both of his free throws and checked out of the game with about six minutes remaining. The Falcons simply didn’t have an answer for someone with his size and scoring ability. Few teams do.
Bowling Green entered the game as one of the top 25 rebounding teams in the nation, but the Bearcats were able to win the rebounding battle 38-28 with Washington and Gary Clark grabbing six rebounds each. he loss snapped the Falcons three game winning streak. Bowling Green couldn’t find a rhythm offensively and its press led to several highlight-reel baskets for the Bearcats.
Like this one:
And this one:
Bowling Green scoring leaders Wes Alcegaire and Zack Denny scored 16 points apiece, but the rest of the team combined for just 24 points on 9-of-34 shooting. It was the lowest scoring game of the season for the Falcons.
This is the fifth-straight win for the Bearcats who improved to 7-1 on the season. t sets the stage for a match-up with the undefeated, 18th ranked Butler Bulldogs next Saturday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. By that point, this will likely be a battle between two Top 25 teams. Butler should be 9-0 by then with a matchup against Indiana State its last matchup before next Saturday. The Bulldpgs already have wins over 8th-ranked Arizona along with Utah, Northwestern and Vanderbilt. Cincinnati is 5-2 all-time against Butler, but lost to the Bulldogs last season when Butler beat the Bearcats 78-76. The Bearcats will hope to exact a little revenge on them just like they did to Iowa State this past Thursday.