Cincinnati Bearcats squeeze in home game against Vanderbilt tonight

March 03, 2021

Home Finale

VANDERBILT (7-14, 3-12 SEC)
at CINCINNATI (9-9, 7-6 AAC)
Thursday, Mar. 4 // 7 p.m. ET
Fifth Third Arena // Cincinnati, Ohio
SERIES INFO:
 Eighth meeting; Cincinnati leads 6-1 overall; UC leads 3-0 in Cincinnati;
UC leads 2-0 in Nashville; Series is tied 1-1 at neutral sites;
LAST MEETING: Cincinnati won 67-58 in the first round of the Maui Invitational on Nov. 23, 2009
STREAK: Cincinnati – 3
COACHES: John Brannen – second season at Cincinnati (29-19); sixth season overall (111-71)
Jerry Stackhouse – second season at Vanderbilt (18-35); second season overall (18-35)
AP/USA TODAY RANKINGS (MAR. 1): Cincinnati (–/–); Vanderbilt (–/–)
RADIO: 102.7 WEBN FM; Dan Hoard provides play-by-play with color analyst Terry Nelson
TV: ESPN+; Matt Noonan provides play-by-play with color analyst Kevin Johnson
JOIN THE CONVERSATION (TWITTER, FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM): @GoBearcatsMBB

GAME PREVIEW 

  • Cincinnati (9-9, 6-6 American) steps out of league play Thursday to welcome Vanderbilt (7-13, 3-11 Southeastern Conference) to Fifth Third Arena. The regular-season home finale for the Bearcats tips off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+.  
  • The Bearcats are coming off an 80-74 home setback to Memphis on Senior Day Sunday. Keith Williams and Mike Saunders Jr. led UC with 19 points each. Mika Adams-Woods added 10 points. 
  • Vanderbilt suffered an 83-68 setback at LSU on Tuesday night. Maxwell Evans led the Commodores with 20 points. 
  • UC and Vanderbilt have played seven times in series history with the Bearcats winning six times, including the last meeting a 67-58 result in the first round of the 2009 Maui Invitational. 
  • UP NEXT: UC wraps up regular-season play at East Carolina on Sunday. Tipoff is 1 pm. ET on ESPN+.

CINCINNATI HEADLINES

  • Cincinnati is 6-2 since coming off a 25-day pause for COVID-19 issues.
  • Jeremiah Davenport was named to the AAC Weekly Honor Roll on Monday, averaging 16.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting 56.3 percent (18 of 32) from the field and 50 percent (9 of 18) from 3-point range. He ranks among the AAC leaders in 3-pointers per game (9th at 1.8), field goal percentage (13th at .453), and points (18th at 11.0).
  • Preseason AAC First Team honoree Keith Williams entered Wednesday ranked seventh in the AAC in scoring, averaging 14.6 points. He scored a game-high 24 points with a career-best six assists at Tulsa (2/25). 
  • Tari Eason ranks among AAC leaders in blocked shots (4th at 1.2), field goal percentage (7th at .495), offensive rebounds (7th at 2.1) and rebounds (11th at 5.6).
  • In November, CBS Sports named Cincinnati the 10th greatest college basketball program since the advent of the NCAA Tournament in 1939. 

BEARCATS TIP-INS

  • COVID-19 CHALLENGES: It’s been a challenging year for all college basketball programs. Here’s a look at some of the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Cincinnati. 
  • UC currently has eight scholarship players entering March. Four players have opted out of the program, most recently David DeJulius last week. 
  • The Bearcats had six games postponed (one of which was rescheduled) from Jan. 13 through Jan. 30, marking a 25-day layoff between games. 
  • UC is coming off playing four games in eight days after the Tulane game was rescheduled from Jan. 16 to Feb. 26.
  • Tonight’s game against Vanderbilt resulted after COVID-19 protocols prevented SMU from playing basketball.  
  • UC learned SMU would not be able to be tonight’s opponent late Saturday evening and immediately switched Senior Day festivities to prior to this past Sunday’s game with Memphis. 
  • The Bearcats recently came off a stretch of six of eight games on the road before their current three-game homestand. UC’s game with Temple (2/12) marked its first home game since a 70-66 loss to Tulsa (1/2) – a span of 41 days.
  • LATEST NONCONFERENCE GAME SINCE: UC’s matchup with Vanderbilt on Thursday marks the latest regular-season nonconference game for the Bearcats since a 72-70 win over Duquesne on Mar. 4, 1975, when UC was an independent. The following season UC joined the Metro Conference.  
  • BRANNEN TEAMS DOWN THE STRETCH: John Brannen-coached teams have performed well during the months of February and March. Over the last five seasons (including his last three at Northern Kentucky) his squads have compiled a 38-15 (.717) mark down the stretch, including an 13-5 record at Cincinnati.
  • WILLIAMS SEVENTH IN AAC IN SCORING: Preseason AAC First Team honoree Keith Williams entered Wednesday ranked seventh in the AAC in scoring, averaging 14.6 points. 
  • Over the past three games he is averaging 17.0 points, 5.3 assists and 1.7 blocks. He scored a game-high 24 points with a career-best six assists at Tulsa (2/25) and poured in 19 points with six assists vs Memphis (22/28). 
  • Williams became the 54th member of UC’s 1,000-point club at Tulane (2/7) with a game-high 20 points against the Green Wave.  
  • DAVENPORT NAMED TO AAC HONOR ROLL: Sophomore guard Jeremiah Davenport was named to the AAC Weekly Honor Roll on Monday, averaging 16.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting 56.3 percent (18 of 32) from the field and 50 percent (9 of 18) from 3-point range. 
  • He tallied a career-high 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting with four triples and five assists against Tulane (2/26) and posted 14 points with four threes and seven rebounds at Tulsa (2/24).
  • Davenport ranks among the AAC leaders in 3-pointers per game (9th at 1.8), field goal percentage (13th at .453), and points (18th at 11.0).
  • In his first career start against SMU (1/7), Davenport posted his first career double-double with 18 points and a career-best 10 rebounds while hitting a trio of 3-pointers.. 
  • SAUNDERS STEPPING UP: Freshman Mike Saunders Jr. has stepped up for UC, especially over the last two games, playing more than 30 minutes each contest. He poured in a career-high 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting with a pair of three against Memphis (2/28). He has started six of the last eight games for the Bearcats. 
  • EASON REGISTERS FIRST DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Freshman Tari Eason posted his first collegiate double-double against Tulane (2/26) with a career-high 20 points and career-high 13 rebounds to go with three blocks. He finished 8 of 8 from the field with a 3-pointer.  
  • Eason, who has led UC in rebounds in eight games this season, ranks among the AAC leaders in blocked shots (4th at 1.2), field goal percentage (7th at .495), offensive rebounds (7th at 2.1) and rebounds (11th at 5.6).

SCOUTING VANDERBILT

  • Vanderbilt is playing three true road games this week. The Commodores lost at LSU on Tuesday and play at Ole Miss on Saturday. 
  • VU has battled injuries throughout the season, starting 15 different lineups in 21 games.  
  • Scotty Pippen Jr. (20.5 points, 5.2 assists) and Dylan Disu (15.0 points, 9.2 rebounds) rank atop the list of Commodores scorers. 

COURTESY UC SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS

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