While it's early in the season Bearcats basketball coach Mick Cronin used a game many felt was a sure win to teach his team a lesson.
Sitting junior guard Deonta Vaughn at the start of the game, Cronin looked to get his point across by sitting his star player for the first time in 66 games. Stating it was a result of how Vaughn had practiced, Cronin is grabbing his team by the ears and making sure they don't take the next week leading up to the Crosstown Shootout off.
But while the end results were successful the overall game had its ups and downs.
Yes Vaughn would score 16 points in the win, but the Bearcats allowed the Blazers to out score them in the second half 54-49. If not for the early lead (38-26 @ half) the Bearcats could be sitting with a loss heading into their match-up with rival Xavier.
Mike Williams paced the team with 17 points and 3 boards while Vaughn threw in 16 to go with 5 boards. Freshman Yancy Gates was the only other Bearcat to be in double figures with 11 points to go with 4 boards.
Despite not getting the start, Vaughn played more minutes (33) than any other Bearcat in the win.
Areas the Bearcats did well included hitting the defensive glass for 31 boards and getting 5 steals and 4 blocks. Overall Coach Cronin must continue to stress to his team being sloppy with 17 turnovers is not acceptable.
The Bearcats are now 6-1 as they take the week off and prepare for Xavier on next Saturday at 8:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Arena.