UC Bearcats Set for Saturday Night at Xavier in Crosstown Shootout 6:30 PM

By Bane Rossi




CINCINNATI — The 91st installment of the Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout tips off at 6:30 p.m. inside Xavier’s Cintas Center.

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  • Cincinnati is off to its best start since 2017-18, and a win would mark its first at 8-0 since 2012-13, its final Big East campaign. UC’s seven-game win streak is also its longest since 2018-19.
  • Cincinnati has scored 85-plus points in six-straight games for the first time since 1959-60 (Oscar Robertson’s senior year). The 56.5 percent shooting clip against FGCU was a season-high.
  • Cincinnati is 14th nationally in scoring offense (87.3 ppg), including six-straight games of 80-plus points for the first time since 2005-06, when Andy Kennedy was the interim head coach.
  • While the Howard game saw UC held to season-lows of three 3-pointers and 16% deep shooting, the Bearcats posted a season-high 54 paint points. Cincinnati followed it with 52 more against FGCU.
  • Viktor Lakhin’s 19 points against FGCU marked his fifth-straight double-figure scoring game, in addition to nine boards and a career-high six assists. Over his last three games (which included 5-of-6 deep shooting against Georgia Tech), he is averaging 17.7 ppg on 70 percent shooting. Not only does he have nine 3-pointers after three his previous two years, his 16 assists are one off last year’s total.
  • Jizzle James had six turnovers in his first two games but has since turned the corner with a 16:3 assist/turnover mark in the five games since. The freshman scored seven of his nine points over a two-minute span in the second half, all in the midst of Howard scoring on seven-straight possessions. His father, Pro Football Hall of Famer Edgerrin James, was in attendance with Clinton Portis.
  • UC is 8-0 when Dan Skillings Jr. scores in double-figures. While he had a season-low three points on Sunday, he still posted 12 boards and a career-high four assists to exhibit his playmaking ability. Skillings’ scoring and minutes are up 6.6 and 10.6, respectively, from last year and UC’s bench is sixth nationally with 37.0 ppg.
  • CJ Fredrick went 5-for-6 from deep against FGCU and is up to a team-best 55.2 percent on the year (16-29). Over his last two years at Cincinnati and UK, his teams are 10-0 when he hits three or more. He is also the fourth-rated offensive player in KenPom at 154.5.
  • Cincinnati has led at the half in every game this season (44-10 overall under Wes Miller). The Bearcats are also 11th nationally with 9.0 turnovers per game after ranking in the top-30 for Miller’s first two years.


  • Arguably the most-passionate local rivalry in college basketball, UC leads 51-39 in a series that began in 1928 but hit full-speed in 1946.
  • Xavier’s four-game win streak is the first in the series since UC from 1972-79. Cincinnati had also won 20 of 21 from 1957-79.
  • Last year’s meeting saw Xavier race out to a 13-1 lead that expanded to 41-24 at the half. The Bearcats trailed by 11 with 3:07 left, but back-to-back three-pointers by David DeJulius (the latter a four-point play) tied it up after trailing by six with 34 seconds left. XU’s Souley Boum drew a foul on a layup attempt on the ensuing possesssion to win it.
  • UC’s Viktor Lakhin is the only starter back from last year’s Shootout.
  • Simas Lukosius, whose injury status is day-to-day, played Xavier five times over the last two seasons while at Butler. He scored 27 points against the Musketeers in the 2022 Big East Tournament, and his defensive rebound and succeeding free-throws with 4 seconds left extended it to OT as well.

Cincinnati has scored 85 or more points in six straight games, its most since 1959-60, Oscar Robertson’s senior year. That team averaged 98.0 ppg over its season-opening run, eventually finishing third in the nation before winning the next two national titles.

Last season’s UC team averaged 77.1 ppg (its most since 2001-02) which included a 7.7 ppg improvement from Wes Miller‘s first year.

Below are each of the longest 80-plus-point streaks in program history.

Year (Coach) Games Postseason
2023-24 (Wes Miller) 6 TBD
2005-06 (Andy Kennedy) 6 NIT
1996-97 (Bob Huggins) 6 NCAA 2nd Round
1994-95 (Bob Huggins 6 NCAA 2nd Round
1959-60 (George Smith) 9 NCAA Final Four
1954-55 (George Smith) 7 NIT 3rd Round