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July 2020
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Cincinnati Bearcats win at Oklahoma proves point to critics

The college basketball experts, or that is what they call themselves, were very critcal of the Cincinnati Bearcats basketball team eventhough they were 9-0 heading into their matchup at Oklahoma last weekend.

Their games were mostly blowouts against mid-major schools. The only teams that were good on their schedule were Dayton (9-3) and Wright State (7-5), two schools 50 miles up the road, north of their campus. UC beat Dayton on a night when the Flyers couldn’t buy a basket and they barely escaped a scrappy Wright State team.

The other opponents that they beat included, Carleton University, Indiana University-Southeast, Mount St. Mary’s, Indiana/Purdue-Ft. Wayne, Florida A&M, Savannah State, Toledo, Utah Valley and Georgia Southern. You can see why the critics were overlooking their 9-0 record.

The Bearcats went into Oklahoma City last Saturday and beat the Oklahoma Sooners in the 75th All-College Basketball Classic, 66-56 to win the championship trophy.

Mick Cronin (file photo)

The Bearcats had passed their first test against a team from a major Conference. They showed Big 12 member Oklahoma and the 10,625 fans at Oklahoma City Arena that they are indeed a solid basketball team.

The Bearcats entered the game as one of only nine unbeaten teams left in the country and left it at 10-0.

UC led for most of the game but had to overcome several comeback attempts by the Sooners, who fall to 5-6. The last attempt by Oklahoma came near the end of the game when they cut a 12-point UC lead down to seven with 1:22 to go.

Cincinnati iced the game by sinking nine of 10 free throws in the final 1:06.

The Bearcats relied on their defense, holding Oklahoma to 33.3 percent shooting and their lowest shooting percentage of the season.

Yancy Gates scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds despite missing all but five minutes of the first half with foul trouble. But despite that, Gates was voted the game’s Most Valuable Player. He scored nine of his 11 points in crucial situations in the second half.

compiled from staff, Cincinnati & Oklahoma athletics news

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