Hot. Troy Caupain was hot last night. Against Josh Pastner’s Memphis Tigers, he scored a career high 25 points as he lifted the Bearcats to a 76-72 victory. He and Shaq Thomas were the offensive story last night, as Shaq added 18 points.
In front of the 10,000+ in attendance at Fifth Third Arena (including UC great – Kenyon Martin), the Bearcats jumped to a 9 point lead with 15 minutes to play in the second half. But UC has consistently struggled to close out games this season, and last night looked to be no different. Memphis pulled to a 60-60 tie with eight minutes remaining, and those in attendance held their breath.
To make matters worse, late in the game the Bearcats found themselves in foul trouble, with both of UC’s starting big men – Octavius Ellis and Gary Clark – with four fouls. However, neither fouled out and both played great defense at the end of the game to buoy the Bearcats.
Ellis, in particular, played admirably in the final five minutes of the game. In the post-game press conference, Coach Mick Cronin said:
“The key to the game was Ellis’ defense in the last five minutes without fouling.”
On Sunday, the Bearcats face Tulane at Fifth Third Arena. The last time the two teams played, Tulane won at the buzzer. If the Bearcats play sleepy, the game could be close. However, if UC plays with the same energy it displayed against Memphis, the Bearcats should add another number to the win column.