That was painful. Let’s talk about the positive parts of the game first. Don’t worry, it won’t take long. The Bearcats opened the game on a tear with a 16 – 4 run. UC asserted themselves inside early with Yancy Gates and was able to generate a solid balance offensively. Cash, Dixon, and Kilpatrick quickly ballooned the lead to 12 points at which point Golden Eagles coach Buzz Williams wisely called a timeout. That’s when it all went to hell. Marquette started picking away at Cincinnati’s lead with a series of fast points off of uncharacteristic Bearcat turnovers. After a 6th UC turnover in just about five minutes of play, MU finally overtook the Bearcats on two made Todd Mayo free throws. From that point on the Golden Eagles outscored Cincinnati 70 – 54 and forced another 8 turnovers. The Marquette bludgeoning was complete.
It was the most points allowed from this typically stout defense since UConn dropped 96 on them in 2008. But UC is all about ball-control on offense and 14 total turnovers killed them today. Most importantly, Marquette turned those into points. 25 of them to be exact which was nearly one-quarter of their total scoring. That’s just terrible. Now Cincinnati is in a precarious position. At 17 – 8 and with 5 losses already in the Big East, the Bearcats can’t afford to drop the next two games to Providence and Seton Hall. While perennial bottom feeders, UC tends to play down to its competition. They have now officially slid into the ‘must-win’ column.