UC Defeats the Undermanned UML
The University of Cincinnati saw another victory against UMass Lowell last night, and Mike Cronin is seeing his players respond to the things he has been asking of them. It is a great year for Cincinnati, Ohio’s college sports fans (like us!). He has been harping on rebounding, and in return they gave him a 43-28 margin Tuesday nigh, allowing only four offensive rebounds. He also wanted more communication on defense, and they finished the game with a season-high 49 deflections. For those who know Cronin, there are few things he likes to see on the court more than some good deflections.
“My focus becomes eliminating mistakes,” Cronin said. “Your margin for error gets smaller and smaller every day in college basketball. We’re always ready to play but you win games with strategy and execution.” That being said, it was a fairly easy victory, as the Bearcats turned back the undermanned UMass Lowell Riverhawks 79-49, as 5,477 fans cheered them on. It is time for the games to get more difficult, but it seems as if UC will be up to the challenge. This portion begins on Saturday when they travel to New Mexico. Then there is the Crosstown Classic vs. Xavier on Dec. 14th and the Jimmy V Classic vs. Pittsburgh on Dec. 17th in New York. The team is good this year, and UC fans can’t wait for these games to see just how good this team will be.
“We all know that we still have a lot more room to improve,” said senior guard Sean Kilpatrick, who led UC on the night with 18 points. “We also know we have to cut down our margin of error. There’s going to be games coming where we have to execute down the stretch. Teams are going to have as much talent as we have and are going to be as big and strong as we are. We all know what we’re trying to accomplish.” Speaking of executing, senior forward Justin Jackson produced his second career double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. He was also able to block three shots and give the crowd a momentous dunk. “I was frustrated,” Jackson said. “I couldn’t finish around the rim today. I just kept playing defense and rebounding the ball.” Thankfully, Justin, you are fantastic at both!
UC (5-0) is one of the two remaining unbeaten teams in the American Athletic Conference. UMass Lowell (0-6) was undermanned, but they are also experiencing their first year of a four-year reclassification period from Division II to Division I. They only had eight healthy scholarship players trying to execute against UC’s swarming, enveloping defense. The Bearcats forced UMass Lowell into 28 turnovers, a season high for a UC opponent, and held the River Hawks to 22 second-half points. “Cincinnati is pretty unique in that way,” said UMass Lowell coach Pat Duquette. “They just keep coming at you. Very few teams press every possession for the entire game and then also come and trap you in the half court. Not many teams that I’ve seen have been successful in playing that style.” It’s great to hear another coach compliment our University and their playing, and we can’t wait to see how they perform as the season gets more intense!