In a tie game, Deonta Vaughn lobbed a pass to Yancy Gates in the final moments; Gates missed his first attempt, but followed successfully with just over two seconds to play. Notre Dame’s desperation shot hit the net, and UC got a well earned, much needed victory, 60-58.
Cincinnati improves to 12-6 (3-3 BE) on the year, while the Irish fall to 14-4 (3-2). Coming into the game Notre Dame was ranked 71st in the country by Pomeroy, and the Bearcats 55th. The game featured a big contrast in strengths, with ND’s high powered offense (4th, by Pomeroy) squaring off against Cincy’s strong defense (32nd).
The Bearcats held the Irish to 46% from two point range, and 29% from three. On the year, they were shooting 53% on twos and 43% on threes. The Cats forced Luke Harangody into eating up way too many ND possessions, as he shot 20 times (plus 2-6 on free throws), and turned it over 4 times, while managing to score just 14 points. UC also controlled the glass 50-31, led by 13 rebounds from Yancy Gates.
The only negative from this game, and it’s a pretty big one, is the offense. Against a terrible defense, ranked 237th in the country, Cincy shot just 32% in the game, and 24% from deep. That’s just ugly. The free-throw shooting was improved (13-18) and they only turned it over eight times, but they have to find a way to generate some offense.
Overall, though, this is a very big win obviously. South Florida, up next.