Before a capacity crowd (12,012) in the newly-renovated Fifth Third Arena, the Bearcats struggled to score. In the first half, UC shot 14% from the floor and the second half wasn’t much better.
On the game, the Bearcats hoisted 62 shots and made a miserly 17 of those (27%). From three, the Bearcats were 6 of 26 for a less-than-pedestrian 23 percent.
The Buckeyes weren’t exactly prolific on the offensive end and only shot 43% on the game, but they were in the driver’s seat the whole game and hit 55% of their shots in the second half.
UC’s Jarron Cumberland led all scorers, netting 22 points. Cumberland’s point production all arrived in the second half as he picked up a couple of early fouls in the first half.
Statistically, the teams were similar with the exception of taken and made field goals (OSU-20/47; UC-17/62). On the court, though, the teams couldn’t have looked more different. The Bearcats offense sputtered 75% of the game whereas Ohio State knocked down critical shots and flowed better.
His custom in most postgame press conferences, Coach Mick Cronin focused on UC’s defensive deficiencies on the night: “Math quiz – if Ohio State scores 27 points in the second half, too, we win by two…We had one guy who played twenty minutes without a single deflection.”
Taking a realistic look at this team, even if very early in this season, three storylines emerge:
- Can the young and inexperienced front court mature quickly enough?
- Can Jarron Cumberland stay out of foul trouble and routinely shoulder the scoring load for this team?
- Can Coach Cronin find points on this roster from the younger guys because clearly the Bearcats need a second option?
The Bearcats play next on Tuesday, November 13th against North Carolina Central at home. That game will tip at 7:00 PM.
By Brian Fox