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Cincinnati 76 St. John's 54 : Tempo-Free and a few other thoughts

NEW YORK CITY - You have a tough time winning if you do not put the ball in the basket. You WILL NOT win if you do not defend. Simple. Cincinnati rolled over St. John’s 76-54 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

The Bearcats scorched the nets for a 58% eFG percentage while St. John’s checked in at 37%. Cincinnati also ruled the boards with a 49-29 advantage. On the offensive rebound percentage they enjoyed a 46-23% edge. Defense and rebounding, two things St. John’s assistant head coach Mike Dunlap discussed in post game interviews.

At the half:

Score: 30-19 UC

Possessions: UC 30, St. John’s 32

Offensive efficiency: UC 100, St. John’s 59

Defense was hanging in there but the St. John’s offense was far below par.

At the 12 minute to go mark:

Score: 50-30 UC

Possessions: UC 43, St. John’s 45

Offensive efficiency: UC 116, St. John’s 67

Any chances of getting back in it with a good second half start were, in effect, negated by Cincy. The game went from potentially in striking distance, to a rout. The final numbers:

Possessions

Off. Efficiency

Cincinnati

67

113

St. John’s

68

79

Failure to close out on perimeter shooters, getting worn down on the boards, you name it. St. John’s really came unglued on the defensive end, especially the last 20 minutes. The best case scenario, get back to practice, look to remedy deficiencies and begin to ready for Georgetown on Sunday. As Dunlap said, “we will look at the tape and fix what we need to fix. Especially our rebounding.”

Double figure scorers and their Manley/NBA efficiency numbers:



Points

Manley/NBA

Gates, UC


14


22


Kilpatrick, UC


14


18


Wright, UC


12


15


Dixon, UC


10


10


Harrison, St.John’s


15


7


Even though Moe Harkless did not hit double figures (6 points), he tied Harrison for St. John’s’ Manley/NBA ‘high score’ with 7.

Last 12 minutes of the game, Bearcats scored 10 field goals. Two beyond the arc, eight in the paint (three of them by Gates). It was that kind of offensive display by Mick Cronin’s club.

The decision of Malik Stith to withdraw from the St. John’s team was discussed by Dunlap and players alike in post game interviews. The general, or should we say, overwhelming consensus was as much as Stith will be missed, it was his decision and the team will move on and look to continue to improve. Stith may stay with the program in some yet undetermined capacity.

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