Sean Kilpatrick and Dion Dixon will need to ice their shoulders tonight because they carried the Bearcats in this game. The duo were not only the only players to score double-digit points, but they actually scored 49 of Cincinnati’s 68 points (72%). Kilpatrick’s 27 points was a career high and took over the game in the 2nd half. While other Bearcats were struggling to do much of anything on offense, the one they call ‘Killa’ was slashing and dashing his way to the hoop almost every time he touched the ball. Not to be outdone was senior Dion Dixon. Fresh off his Bearcat of the Week award, Dion scored 22 points and most importantly nailed 5 of 6 free throws including four-in-a-row to ice the game. Seniors are expected to come up big for a team and he clearly had ice water running through his veins when he stepped up to the line. It’s obvious that Cincinnati wouldn’t have won without them.
Oh by the way, Mick Cronin earned his 100th career win tonight. He had tremendous strategy near the end of the game with the lineups and zone, once again winning the chess match with John Thompson III. I’m sure it was frustrating watching Yancy Gates lethargically ‘attacking’ the basket and the other post players stare off into space when they should have been boxing out. It also probably wasn’t easy watching his defense give up almost 60% shooting from the field. It sure as hell was for me. But that same defense stole the ball 13 times and forced 17 turnovers, which along with Kilpatrick and Dixon’s shooting kept the Bearcats pretty much in this game.
Overall this is a win, all be it a crazy one, to pad the tournament resume as the Georgetown Hoyas are going to win their share of games this year. It was especially important to get a win tonight because, as I mentioned, this game marked the beginning of the toughest five-game stretch on the schedule. The Bearcats host the Villanova Wildcats on Saturday before taking on #16 UConn, West Virginia, and #1 Syracuse. Cincinnati certainly started it off on the right foot.