Arkansas-Pine Bluff never had a chance. Not against the No. 20 Cincinnati Bearcats. The hosting Bearcats started strong and finished strong last night. Looking at the box score, you might think that the Golden Lions only played one half since they didn’t even reach 50 points, but the were allotted 40 minutes of opportunity. Here were the stats that stood out.
We’ll start in the same spot we did when revisiting the UCLA win. Arkansas-Pine Bluff had no answer for UC’s defensive pressure, as it lost the ball 22 times, with 13 of those turnovers coming via steal. Jacob Evans was the most productive thief, snagging three steals, a few of which led to easy points the other way.
Speaking of points off turnovers, Cincinnati had 34, including 16 by way of the fast break. Here’s one of the more impressive such sequences from the win. Its not everyday you see a guy parallel to the ground.
Jacob Evans is just having fun now. Lob courtesy of one Cane Broome. pic.twitter.com/FFd1aRilhJ— OhVarsity! (@OhVarsity) December 20, 2017
Aside from controlling the ball in terms of the give and take, Cincinnati also made sure to clean up the glass like a bottle of Windex. Although Evans only had seven rebounds to lead the team, the Bearcats produced a satisfying team effort, earning a 42-28 edge in boards. That included a 14-6 advantage on the offensive end, which led to 14 second chance points. The Golden Lions had only three in response.
There were plenty of rebounds to be had as the Golden Lions clanked shot after shot off the rim. They only made 36 percent of their field goal attempts, including a ghastly 5-of-20 showing from three-point range. That poor shooting allowed UC to limit an opponent to less than 60 points for the seventh time this season. Charles Jackson and Trent Steen, who rank second and fourth, respectively, for the Golden Lions in scoring, were the most befuddled players. The duo was held to four points on 2-of-12 combined shooting. Meanwhile, the Bearcats had seven players score at least five points, which helped them achieve an eye-numbing 47-19 advantage in bench scoring. That’s right, the UC reserves nearly beat the Golden Lions by themselves.
While its fun to let the dominant numbers wash over us in the wake of an easy victory, there were a few areas of concern for the Bearcats. After shooting 53.6 percent from the floor in the first half, they made only 36.7 percent in the final 20 minutes. Now, most of the starters were lounging on the bench by then, but they still need the backups to be effective. Secondly, while the Golden Lions were not nearly as disruptive on defense, they still forced 15 turnovers, which is a troubling number during a win of nearly 30 points. But those are problems to be addressed on another day. For now the Bearcats have to be pleased with one of their easiest wins of the season.