Bearcats knock off No. 16 West Virginia
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) – Eric Hicks led his team with 18 points and
snatched eight rebounds as Cincinnati knocked off No. 16 West Virginia, 78-75,
at Fifth Third Arena.
Jihad Muhammad added 17 points and Devan Downey scored 16 points and dished
out 10 assists for the Bearcats (19-11, 8-8 Big East), who strengthened their
NCAA Tournament resume with today’s big win.
Kevin Pittsnogle led all scorers with 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds,
while Mike Gansey chipped in 20 points and Frank Young scored 13 for the
Mountaineers (20-9, 11-5), who have now lost four of their last six contests.
Pittsnogle hit a three to open the second half and bring his team to within
three, 37-34. However, the Bearcats would score 11 of the next 12 points in
the game, including three shots from beyond the arc, to take a 13-point lead,
Patrick Beilein hit a three-pointer with 2:41 to play to bring the
Mountaineers to within two, 75-73.
With less than one minute to play and Cincinnati holding a two-point lead,
Chad Moore missed a three-pointer, but was able to control his own rebound and
allow the Bearcats to run time off the clock.
Hicks was sent to the free-throw line with 25 seconds to play but only
converted one-of-two shots for a 76-73 Bearcats lead.
On the Mountaineers ensuing possession, Pittsnogle attempted a quick three-
pointer with nine seconds to play, but found only iron. Moore corralled the
rebound and was fouled. He would miss the front end of a one-and one and the
Mountaineers would get the rebound and call timeout with 3.2 seconds left.
Pittsnogle took the inbounds pass and was immediately fouled. He made his
first attempt and accidently hit the second, banging it off the backboard and
Downey was sent to the line with 1.3 seconds left, where he converted a pair
to seal the deal for the ‘Cats.
With the Mountaineers trailing, 12-7, early in the first half, Kevin
Pittsnogle’s layup sparked a 9-0 run for West Virginia, giving them a four-
point lead, 16-12.
The Bearcats would respond with a 19-4 run of their own, capped by a big
Hicks dunk, to put Cincinnati up 10, 33-23, with 3:16 to play in the half. The
Bearcats would hold a 37-31 advantage at the break thanks to 13 first-half
points from Hicks.
This is the first time Cincinnati has hosted West Virginia since February 24,
1978…The Bearcats hold a 7-5 advantage in the all-time series…James White
scored 15 points for the Bearcats…West Virginia shot 12-28 from beyond the
arc while Cincinnati shot 7-17…The Mountaineers shot 55.6 percent from the
foul line, while Cincinnati shot 86.7 percent.