Las Vegas, NV (Sports Network) - The Oregon Ducks will try to knock off ranked
opponents on back-to-back nights, as they take on No. 22 Cincinnati in the
championship game of the Global Sports Classic.
Mick Cronin's Bearcats are never easy to tame. Cincinnati is now 5-0 to open
the season with a 29.2 ppg average margin of victory. The team faced its
first real test on Friday, but passed with flying colors as it shut down Iowa
State and held the net-scorching Cyclones to 37.3 percent shooting after they
had come in making 49.6 percent of their field goal attempts. The Bearcats
were held about nine percentage points under their season average, but they
converted 23-of-25 attempts at the charity stripe, scored 26 points off
turnovers, and netted 18 fastbreak points to advance to the championship
Oregon had an even tougher matchup in the semifinals as it had to playe No. 18
UNLV on its home floor where the it had won 20 games in a row. Despite coming
in with a perfect 4-0 record that featured four wins by double digits, the
Ducks were not expected to take down the very talented and athletic Runnin'
Rebels. Coach Dana Altman's squad came out poised and played as a team through
a game that featured 21 lead chances and 11 ties. Despite making only 3-of-19
from beyond the arc and allowing UNLV's Anthony Bennett to collect his first
career double-double, the Ducks ended the hosting school's home winning streak
with an 83-79 decision.
This game marks just the second meeting between these two programs, and
Cincinnati won the first back in 2002.
Cincinnati was challenged by Iowa State, as the Cyclones came within three
points with 3:25 left to play. However, junior guard Sean Kilpatrick willed
the team to victory with a career-high 32 points, which came courtesy of a
perfect 16-of-16 performance at the free throw line. The junior, who also
logged five steals, has elevated his game to become the team's leader as he
had already posted scoring totals of 20 and 29 points earlier this season.
Senior guard Cashmere Wright also got into the mix with 14 points and five
assists. With JaQuon Parker struggling from the field (1-of-7), Titus Rubles
delivered a spark off the bench with 10 points and five rebounds. Wright is
now averaging 22 of the team's 88.8 ppg.
The Ducks' won on Friday despite a poor 3-of-10 shooting performance (1-of-6
3-PT) from their leading scorer, E.J. Singler. While the senior leader
struggled, the team's rookie shooting guard Damyean Dotson stepped up to
deliver a career-high 19 points. Singler (22 minutes) and Oregon's shot-
blocking center Tony Woods (nine minutes) both fouled out, but Altman's
reserve big men tandem of Carlos Emory and Arsalan Kazemi showed they could
start for most teams across the nation. Emory went 6-of-9 from the field for
16 points and he added nine rebounds, while Kazemi tallied seven points and
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