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Boxscore Deep Dive: Cincinnati Dominated the Battle for Ball Control Against UCLA

It’s time we pick through the remains of UC’s most impressive win of the season.

Cincinnati v UCLA Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bearcats visited the UCLA Bruins on Saturday and have returned home to Clifton with a win in their pocket. Now 9-2, they are setting themselves up nicely as non-conference play winds down. But before we move on to the next contest on the schedule (vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Tuesday), let’s look back at a few interesting tidbits from the win over the Bruins.

Talking Turnovers

There are a number of statistics of note in this category. First, the Bearcats recorded 12 steals, including four from Kyle Washington and three from Gary Clark. That’s some excellent work from guys defending in the paint and helped UC keep UCLA uncomfortable. The Bearcats are 48th in the country in steals, but are averaging 8.2 steals per game. Snagging 12 was above that pace, obviously.

The steals helped the Bearcats dominate when it came to ball control. They forced 18 turnovers in the game, while only committing nine. For a team that coughed it up 21 times in a winnable game against Florida, it was refreshing to see such a drastically different level of success. Also, it didn’t hurt that those 18 forced turnovers led to 23 points, although oddly enough, the Bearcats only scored six fast break points.

Boards and the Paint

Even though the Bearcats got a double-double from Clark and won handily (77-63) they didn’t dominate the glass like you might expect. In fact, both teams secured 35 rebounds in the contest. But the odd similarities in rebound work go deeper. Both teams had 10 offensive boards and 25 on the defensive end. The only meaningful difference in this category came in offensive rebound percentage, which the Bearcats had a 28.1 to 26.5 advantage in.

While both teams pretty much fought to a standstill on the glass, the Bearcats were quite easily the better team down low. Led by 19 points from Kyle Washington, they outscored the Bruins 30-20 in the paint. Washington had his hook shot working and Clark had some big buckets near the rim as well.

Shooting Stuff

You get three points from hitting shots from beyond the arc. You only get one point for each one made at the foul line. That is basic basketball knowledge. However, in this game, the team that was superior at the line won over the one that dominated from long range. The Bearcats were outscored 33-24 from 3-point range and took 12 fewer shots from that distance. But they countered that by outscoring the Bruins 15-6 from the charity stripe thanks to a 23-9 edge in attempts. Of course, a 65.2 percent success rate on free throws is nothing to crow about and speaks to a larger issue since the Bearcats are shooting just 68.5 percent from the line this season, ranking 235th in the country.

Best Individual Stat Line

While Washington had the game-high 19 points, this has to go to Clark, who posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds and also blocked three shots. He also had four assists and hit 5-of-11 shots from the floor.