Sunday’s win over Cincinnati was without-question the most satisfying for the Cougars since joining the American Athletic. Here are our thumbs up, thumbs down marks for the game:
Record-breaking: The Coogs move to 29-2 – the most wins in the regular-season in UH history. UH also went 16-2 in conference play – the 16 wins equals the most conference wins in school history. The 1982-83 team went 16-0 in the SWC.
Next up: With 3 wins in Memphis this weekend, the 2018-19 team could match the all-time wins record set by the 1983-84 team.
Cronin’s Plan: Cinci attacked the basket early forcing the Coogs to foul. Brady, Gresham, and Harris accepted the challenge and picked up 3, 2, & 2 fouls in the first 12 minutes. Brady went to the bench with 3 fouls just 3 minutes into the game. Cinci dictated the game early but the Coogs hung in.
Coogs Close: UH closed the first half on a 9-2 run over the final 95 seconds. The fast-finish erased a five-point deficit largely thanks to Corey Davis (7 of the 9 points).
Another early run for UC: Cincinnati controlled the beginning of the second half, too. The Coogs went over 6.5 minutes before making their 2nd FG of the half. The Bearcats had erased the halftime lead and were up by six, 47-41.
Key sequence: After two made FTs by Cinci, Dejon Jarreau took the ball down the floor and the Coogs left the lane open for him. He hesitated before airballing an eight-footer. A scrum ends in a jumpball and the Coogs get it back only to have Hinton get it blocked from point-blank range. Cincinnati grabs the rebound and gets up the floor in transition and gets an easy drive and score.
Before the TO: The Coogs were out of control and were playing without any poise. This wasn’t the team we’ve seen all year. The score is now 47-41 UC and Kelvin Sampson calls timeout. Here’s the defensive breakdown that had Kelvin come unglued. It’s not pretty:
Coogs lapse in transition defense
It was the only fast-break bucket of the game for the Bearcats. And the arena would never get as loud as it did there.
The comeback: After the timeout, the Cougars find another level – a level we have not seen all year. How great was it? The Coogs come out of the timeout and hit 6 of 7 shots in 139 seconds to take the lead for good:
GOOD – Davis (and a FT) GOOD – Hinton 3-pt
MISS – Davis GOOD – Hinton 3-pt GOOD – White dunk GOOD – Brooks 3-pt GOOD – Jarreau
The clinic: The two teams largely traded misses over the next 3 minutes before the Cougars began their ultimate clinic. Over the next 7 minutes, UH hits 11 of their 12 shots to blow open a back-and-forth game.
GOOD – Hinton GOOD – Jarreau GOOD – Hinton 3-pt GOOD – Davis GOOD – Davis GOOD – Davis 3-pt GOOD – Brooks 3-pt
MISS – Davis 3-pt GOOD – Brooks 3-pt GOOD – Gresham dunk GOOD – Davis GOOD – Jarreau dunk
It’s ironic that in the two crazy shooting sprees, the only guy that missed was the guy that finished with 31.
The trouncing: Beginning with the Sampson timeout at 13:33 until the Jarreau dunk with 1:15 left, UH outscored Cinci 44-20.
Go deeper: From the timeout at 13:33 until a made shot at 7:12, Cincinnati went 1/6 from the floor at the same time the Coogs were 8/15. UH beat them on the offensive glass in that stretch 6 to 1.
Hinton’s breakout game. Nate Hinton went 5-8 from the floor and 4-4 from three to finish with 16 points and 11 rebounds (6 offensive). Did it finally click for Nate? He was a massive shot in the arm in the second half.
Boards: UH out rebounded Cinci 42-30. Insane margin against a team like Cincinnati especially when you consider that Brady, White, and Gresham spent the entire game in foul trouble.
Beating ’em at their own game: More impressive was the 18-9 advantage the Coogs had on the offensive glass. That does not happen to Cincinnati. Fabian White and Nate Hinton combined for 11 offensive boards – more than Cinci’s entire roster.
Streak Over: The win snapped Cincinnati’s 16-game home winning streak. It also messed with their boast of having the top winning percentage in the nation at home since the start of 2016-17 (.961).
Queen City First: Coogs get their first-ever win in Cincinnati. In the first 21,258 days of the Cincinnati/UH series, the Cougars had ust 1 win. It was Groundhog Day 1973. But since March of 2016, the Coogs have 4 wins over the Bearcats and are 3-1 in the last 4.
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