The win was just the second in the past sixth seasons for Mick Cronin and the Bearcats, as Travis Steele’s Musketeers struggled to get anything going offensively.
The Bearcats are known for their defense year in and year out, but for Xavier to go so cold from the field (18-51 for 35.3% and 5-25 for 20% from three), was certainly unexpected and disheartening after the team had been playing well following their 1-2 stint in the Maui Invitational.
Nine of Xavier’s 18 field goals made came from Paul Scruggs and Quentin Goodin. They were the only two Musketeers to score more than ten points, as well. Goodin finished with 12, while Scruggs finished with 11. Naji Marshall struggled to get anything going, recording eight points on 2-13 shooting.
Cincinnati, on the other hand, shot just 40%, but they got the lead midway through the first half and kept tacking on while being stingy on defense. Jarron Cumberland led the Bearcats with 19 points.
Obviously this loss stings more than a traditional loss for the Musketeers, but at the end of the day they have to burn the tape and move on. At 6-4, they can’t exactly afford another nonconference loss. Learn from this and get ready for Big East play.