Cardinals and Bearcats collide in Queen City affair
Cincinnati, OH – The tie for sixth-place in the Big East will ranked Louisville Cardinals head to Fifth Third Arena to battle the Cincinnati Bearcats.
This will be the 95th meeting in history between Louisville and Cincinnati. The Cardinals hold a 53-41 lead in the all-time series, but the Bearcats have been on the winning end in each of the last two encounters.
Head coach Rick Pitino was lucky his team escaped its last outing victorious as Louisville needed overtime to take down the DePaul Blue Demons. The 90-82 decision made the Cardinals 21-6 overall and 9-5 in Big East action. Louisville's players were all over the court on the defensive end as they forced 20 DePaul turnovers to pull out the victory. UL also hit a season-high 12 three-pointers at DePaul. The Cardinals have the fourth best average scoring margin in the Big East, as they outscore their opponents by 9.1 ppg.
Kyle Kuric is leading the Cardinals' balanced attack with 13.3 ppg. Russ Smith, Chris Smith, and Gorgui Dieng all contribute double-digit scoring averages as well. Dieng is leading the squad on the glass with 9.2 boards per contest. Kuric netted a team-high 25 points in the contest versus DePaul, while Smith contributed 20 points. Peyton Siva showed his distributing abilities his last time out as he handed out six assists.
Mick Cronin led his squad to a 62-57 victory over the Seton Hall Pirates on Saturday which improved the Bearcats' overall record to 19-8 and gave them a 9-5 mark in league play. Cincinnati knocked down 9-of-21 from three-point range and held the Pirates to just 34.8 percent shooting from the floor to pick up the victory. The stellar three-point shooting performance was nothing new for the Bearcats, as they lead the conference with 7.5 makes from beyond the arc per game. Cincinnati is one of the better teams in the Big East at stopping its opponents, as it has held foes to an average of 61.5 ppg.
Sean Kilpatrick paces the Bearcats' with 15.0 points per contest on 43.1 percent shooting. Dion Dixon is second on the squad with 13.6 ppg while Yancy Gates averages 12.4 points and 9.2 boards per game. Cashmere Wright is a solid point guard as he dishes out 4.6 assists and swipes 1.9 steals per game. Dixon was exceptional in Louisville's win over Seton Hall on Saturday, as he scored 20 points, grabbed six boards, and passed out five assists in the victory.