Richmond vs Cincinnati Preview and Prediction
Richmond vs Cincinnati Preview
The 12th-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats got their first real test of the season last night–and they did enough to pass. The Bearcats beat a pesky Buffalo squad 73-67 to advance to the second round of the Cayman Islands Classic.
Buffalo losing by double-digits in the first half, outscored Cincinnati in the second half to lose by six points. This was the first time this season Cincinnati wasn’t up by 20+ points as the game wound down.
Richmond (1-2) lost its first two games — both at home — before redshirt freshman Grant Golden scored 26 points, hauled down seven rebounds and blocked three shots to lead the Spiders into the second round of the tournament. Richmond defeated UAB 63-50.
“We talked about how we didn’t get off to the start we wanted (to the season), so coming down to the Cayman Islands was sort of like a fresh start for us,” Golden told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “So I think we really bought into that idea and came out with a lot of energy.”
The energy helped the Spiders shut down UAB’s offense, which was averaging 88.7 points per game in the Rams’ first three games.
Richmond coach Chris Mooney’s squad will have to have some of that same defensive intensity when the Spiders and Bearcats collide Tuesday.
“I think there was a grit that we played with and a bit of a, maybe a refocus,” Mooney said. “I just think it’s fairly common to think you’re going to do well and think things will be easier than they are. I think the two games at home really stunned us. We had some time, we were able to really talk to our guys and practice hard and get ourselves prepared.”
Cincinnati entered the tournament with an offense ranked in the Top 10 nationally. Jarron Cumberland leads the offense at 16.3 points per game, while five other Bearcats average in double figures.
Cincinnati is taking its trip to paradise seriously — very workmanlike.
“We’re here on a mission,” UC senior forward Kyle Washington said before scoring 14 points in the win over Buffalo. “I wish I was going down to the Cayman Islands for a regular vacation, but we’re here to get some hardware.”
“This is my first time across the water,” Bearcats guard Justin Jenifer said. “It’s exciting. I’m ready to have fun a little bit, but it’s always business first.”
Gary Clark certainly took care of business as he led the Bearcats with 24 points and 14 rebounds in Cincinnati’s first-round victory. Cumberland added 14 points, but he turned the ball over seven times.
Richmond had some bad losses (32 points to Jacksonville State and 13 to Delaware) before taking home their first victory on the season yesterday.
On the season the Spiders are only hitting 23 percent of their three-pointers–a number that will need to increase if they want any chance of defeating Cincinnati.
Mick Cronin wants his Bearcat team tested–well that won’t happen tonight like it did against Buffalo. Richmond isn’t in the same realm as Cincinnati and that will show in the scoreboard.
Line: -17 Cincinnati
Cincinnati 101 Richmond 68
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