Cincinnati Barely Escapes ‘Nova

Villanova (12-18, 5-13 BE) looked to end the regular season on a high note against Cincinnati, and to head into the Big East tournament with some momentum. The Cincinnati Bearcats came into this game as a team on the bubble to make the NCAA Tournament, sitting at an impressive 21-9 and 11-6 in the tough Big East. They knew it was not going to be easy playing at Villanova’s densely packed home stadium, the Pavilion, but Cincinnati ended up winning the closely contested game against the ‘Cats, 72-68.

Cincinnati's mascot celebrates a win over 'Nova, which may push the Bearcats over the top.

In the first half, the Bearcats jumped out to an early 9-point lead, and at halftime, they were up 8. ‘Nova slowly chipped away at the lead until they tied the game up with around 12 minutes to go in the second half. After two Bearcat free throws, Nova star point guard Maalik Wayns drained a 3-pointer to put his team up by 1 point. Wayns finished with a game high 26 points, and ‘Nova forward Mouphtaou Yarou had 16, but even that was not enough.

From that point on, the game was back and forth. At the 4 minute mark, Bearcat guard Sean Kilpatrick nailed a 3 of his own to take the lead, and shortly after, guard Jaquon Parker hit yet another 3 to go up 6 points. Parker finished with 11 points and Kilpatrick ended with 13. The Bearcats had 4 players in double-figures led by senior forward Yancy Gates who netted 16 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.

Down the stretch of the game, the Cincinnati players made some clutch free throws, and that was ultimately the difference. Jaquon Parker made 2 free throws with 17 seconds left to put the Bearcats up 5 and seal the deal.¬†Villanova’s fight was not enough for the more experienced Cincinnati Bearcats, but ‘Nova looks to bounce back and make a possible run in the Big East Tournament.


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Categories: CBB, Villanova

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One Comment on “Cincinnati Barely Escapes ‘Nova”

  1. March 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

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