Today marked only the second Big East game that the Cincinnati Bearcats actually scored more points in the first half than in the second. The other? Against DePaul on January 15th and before that you’d have to go all the way back to Cincinnati’s win against Maryland-Eastern Shore on December 8th when UC actually scored more points in the first 20 minutes than the last. Getting off to slow starts has been plaguing this team all season. But thankfully it hasn’t really affected the Bearcats in the standings as they still sit at an impressive 18 – 4 and 6 – 3 within the Big East.
Even during games it hasn’t really affected my confidence in this team pulling off a W, either. The fact is, as mentioned in that piece by Paul Dehner, the Bearcats have a propensity to burst out of halftime and overwhelm teams in the final 20 minutes of play en route to a victory. I’m not sure if it’s a miraculous speech by Mick Cronin at the break or the fact that he has two playbooks for each half. But regardless of the cause UC is scoring about 6 points per game more in the 2nd half. Today they blitzed Seton Hall with a 17 – 0 run after halftime that put the Bearcats up for good. The Pirates did fight back in the closing minutes but Cincinnati’s strong defense and clutch free throw shooting again sealed the win for UC.