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No. 11 Cincinnati not ready for No. 21 Xavier in Crosstown Shootout in 89-76 loss

The No. 11 Cincinnati Bearcats had their first tough challenge of the season against No. 21 Xavier Musketeers. This is a huge rivalry I don’t need to go into the back story, but this is the 85th time these programs have played and less than four miles separate the schools. Last year Cincinnati won at home and this year they have to play at Xavier a place they haven’t won at since 2001. To put that in perspective I was still a young student when they last won, so you can age me if you want.

From the opening tip Cincinnati didn’t look ready for the shootout Xavier jumped out to a 21-5 lead, the play of Gary Clark and Cane Broome kept the Bearcats within striking distance with their solid play, but because of the ball movement and shooting of the Musketeers the away teams defense didn’t do what they are known to do (stop the opponent).  Clark had 10 points and Broome had 13 points at the half.  Kyle Washington, Jacob Evans and Jarron Cumberland combined for six points at half. Cumberland was settled with two fouls, Evans didn’t play aggressive and Washington just seemed out of it the entire game because of these factors Cincinnati was down 43-30 at the half.

Note: Mick Cronin received a technical, J.P. Macura and Trevor Moore received double technical’s with less than a minute left in the first half. Trevon Bluiett made both free throws.

In the second half Xavier got the lead to as much as 23 points, but Cincinnati clawed back into the game they had a shot to get the game other 10 multiple times, but couldn’t hit the three to put Xavier back on notice. Cumberland came alive in the second half to help get the away team back into the game and a late burst by Evans gave #BearcatNation hope, but when Kaiser Gates matched Broome made three it was pretty much academic for the Bearcats.

Eliel Nsoseme played very well in his playing time in the second half he had four blocks. Clark was aggressive from the opening tip finishing with 14 points, seven rebounds, two steals and one block on 5-for-15 shooting.  Evans finished with 23 points, but most them came in the last six minutes of the game if he would’ve played with the same aggression from the tip it might’ve been a different game. Cumberland finished with 15 points. Broome finished with 16 points and five assists, he wasn’t as aggressive in the second half.

Cincinnati took care of the ball only having eight turnovers, but they caused 16. Uncharacteristically they were dominated on the backboard 44-27, Cincinnati had more shots, but Xavier shot the ball better from the field , three point line and free throw line.

Xavier won 89-76 to give Cincinnati their first loss of the season. Cincinnati will play Florida next Saturday.

After the game the rivalry wasn’t over as Cronin and Macura got into it which made for some fun post game videos and comments see below to catch up on that.

Managing Editor of Bearcat Insider, I’ve been on the BCI team the last couple of years. I made the final four in the Biggest Big East Fan contest in 2011, I covered UC also on Cincy on the Prowl. I’m just a lefty trying to get buckets in this game called life Van Exel style.

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