Cincinnati beats Radford 101-70By JOE KAY, AP Sports Writer Saturday, Dec 17, 2011
The Bearcats (7-3) opened with a 12-point run and kept going against the Highlanders (3-9), who have lost eight in a row.
There was no drama to Cincinnati’s first home game since its loss at Xavier that ended in a brawl a week earlier. Each school suspended four players, handing out punishments ranging from one to six games.
The Bearcats were missing power forward Yancy Gates and center Cheikh Mbodj, serving the second of their six-game suspensions. Reserve point guard Ge’Lawn Guyn was back after a one-game penalty and scored five points.
Jareal Smith had 22 points for Radford. Cincinnati scored 100 points for the first time since Dec. 30, 2005, when it beat North Carolina A&T 105-69 under interim coach Andy Kennedy.
The 4,771 fans at the contest saw a reinvented Cincinnati offense that’s doing quite well without its two starting front-line players. Coach Mick Cronin completely changed the Bearcats’ style with Gates and Mbodj gone, going to a guard-driven approach that encourages players to take any open shot.
So far, against two overmatched teams, it has worked.
Cincinnati won by 20 points on Wednesday night at Wright State, with the Bearcats making a season-high 14 3-pointers out of 32 attempts. They shot away again on Saturday and made 60 percent from the field, including 10 of 21 from behind the arc.
Four players finished in double figures. Sean Kilpatrick added 16 points, Dion Dixon had 15 and Jermaine Sanders scored 12.
The Bearcats can get away with the depleted front line for most of that six-game span, which includes games against Wright State, Radford, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Chicago State, Oklahoma and the Big East opener at Pittsburgh on Jan. 1.
There was no problem against undersized Radford, which couldn’t keep up in any way with what’s left of the Bearcats. Cincinnati scored the first 10 points without missing a shot, and had plenty of wide-open ones during an opening 19-2 run. Guyn scored his first basket as part of a three-point play that pushed it to 22-5.
Wright’s unguarded 3 built the lead to 34-7 midway through the first half. It was 47-17 with 4:27 to go before halftime. Cincinnati scored 55 points in the first half alone, two more than in its loss at No. 8 Xavier.