In its season opener, Cincinnati’s defense did not match its shooting prowess. In the second game, both elements clicked for the Bearcats.
The Bearcats hope to effectively mix both elements again Sunday afternoon when they host Eastern Washington in the second game of the Cincinnati Basketball Tournament.
Cincinnati (2-0) enters Sunday coming off two differing performances.
In their 69-58 win over Illinois-Chicago on Monday, the Bearcats shot 41.8 percent and misfired on 20 of 25 3-point tries. The rough showing from the offense occurred when it allowed UIC to shoot 43.3 percent from the floor and 2 of 16 from behind the arc.
On Friday against Detroit Mercy, Cincinnati scored 60 points by halftime and cruised to a 93-61 rout. The Bearcats shot 62.1 percent in the first half and 49.3 percent overall in a game that saw them hit 16 of 34 3-point tries.
“I thought on Monday night we had a lot of wide-open three-point shots too,” Bearcats coach Wes Miller said. “We just had a bad shooting night. When the quality of your shots is high, you have a much better chance to make them. I thought our ball movement was really good at times. We have a really skilled team. We’ve worked really hard at that.”
Cincinnati’s offense was so productive that six players hit double figures with none scoring more than 14 points. CJ Fredrick hit four three-pointers on his way to scoring 14 while John Newman III and Jizzle James contributed 13 apiece.
Eastern Washington (0-2) is starting the season with four straight road games against Power Six opponents. After missing 21 of 30 three-point shots in a 101-66 loss at Utah on Monday, the Eagles improved in a 75-64 loss at Ole Miss on Friday.
Eastern Washington trailed by two at halftime and shot 43.1 percent but also struggled behind the arc again by misfiring on 18 of 22 attempts. Cedric Coward led the Eagles with 16 points in the game, but he and Jake Kyman were a combined 2 of 15 from 3-point range.
“I think we played more consistent minutes than we did on Monday, and at the end of the day our goal is all about progress,” Eastern Washington coach David Riley said.
–Field Level Media
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