Big East Tournament: Cincinnati Uses Early Advantage to Skate Past Providence

Debby Wong-USA Today Sports

In the first game of the day from Madison Square Garden, the Cincinnati Bearcats advanced past the Providence Friars, quieting bubble talk with a 61-44 victory.

The game itself should not be summed up by its final score, but the bottom line is that Cincinnati got up big early and then ended with a flurry late to really make it appear as if they controlled Providence throughout. The Friars did make some runs at the Bearcats’ lead throughout, but this was a game that Cincinnati wanted and needed to have.

Amidst some recent bubble talk, given the Bearcats’ scattered play over the course of the past few weeks, Cincinnati is looking to quiet the discussion and solidify their spot within the NCAA Tournament. Well, with their victory over Providence, the Bearcats may have done just that, win or lose against top seeded Georgetown on Thursday.

Sean Kilpatrick paced the way on Wednesday afternoon, scoring 17 points despite needing 16 shot attempts to get there. The key for the Bearcats in their victory was their defense, however. Cincinnati held Providence to under 30% shooting from the field, limiting the Friars to 23 and 21 points respectively, in each of the first two halves.

Cincinnati did not have to rely too much on point guard Cashmere Wright in Wednesday’s win, but that probably won’t be the case when they square off against the Hoyas. Wright will have to produce on Thursday if the Bearcats have any chance of advancing into the Big East Tournament semifinals.

 

Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS

 

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