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NCAA Basketball Big East BasketballCincinnati Bearcats

Cincinnati Bearcats Can’t Win If Guards Don’t Shoot Well

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

 

The Cincinnati Bearcats lost their conference schedule home opener with a 53-52 defeat at the hands of the St. John’s Red Storm.

Cincinnati’s record fell to 13-2 after losing two of their past three games.

The loss to the Red Storm saw similar struggles for the Bearcats that the team experienced in their first defeat to the New Mexico Lobos. In the 55-54 loss to the Lobos, Cincinnati’s leading scorer Sean Kilpatrick shot 5 for 22 from the field managing to finish with 12 points. He only converted on one two-point field goal after going 4 for 13 from three-point range.  Kilpatrick finished with half of Cincinnati’s three-point attempts as the team had 26 attempts from long range in the loss.

The 6-foot-4 guard once again finished with a poor shooting effort against St. John’s. Kilpatrick delivered only seven points while shooting 3 for 15 and going 0 for 5 from downtown. At half-time the Lobos led 24-21 with the guard recording only two points on 1 for 5 shooting.

The Bearcats’ third leading scorer also had poor shooting performances in the two losses. JaQuon Parker finished with only three points after going 1 for 8 from the field. In the loss to the Lobos he shot 5 for 14 from the floor to finish with 14 points and four turnovers.

Meanwhile the team’s second leading scorer, Cashmere Wright, has been the team’s only top scorer to be able to perform at a high level in both losses.   The six-foot tall senior finished with his first double-double of the season with 23 points, 10 rebounds and four steals against the Red Storm. Against the Lobos he recorded 12 points, four assists and three rebounds after shooting 3 for 5 from three-point range.

The trio of Kilpatrick, Parker and Wright entered the contest against the Red Storm being responsible for 57.9% of Cincinnati’s total scoring offense.

With so much of the team’s production depending on three players, a poor shooting performance by two of the three will result in the Bearcats struggling everytime. Cincinnati entered the game against St John’s averaging 77.3 points per game. In both losses the team has missed that mark by over twenty points as when the team’s scoring leaders struggle there is not enough depth on the roster to step up in their place.

The Bearcats are a scrappy team defensively, however their lack of scoring depth will cost them in conference play. It’s already been proven that all it takes is for their best players to be off on any given night.

Whereas other conference opponents have depth that can help carry the load at times, it’s all or nothing for the Bearcats when it comes to their guards and being able to win games.

Michael covers ACC and Big East basketball along with the Toronto Raptors for Rant Sports, you can follow him on Twitter @MichaelxRoberts