The Bearcats finished up a disappointing weekend at the Peggy Cronin Classic, losing to Bowling Green 69-67.
Bowling Green had their way with the Bearcats' defense all game. They made their shots and took care of the ball. In the second half, Bowling Green went 14-24 from the field and 4-8 from behind the 3-point line.
The Bearcats had a chance to tie the game down three with 11 seconds to go, but Deonta Vaughn couldn't get a good shot and missed a deep three with a hand in his face.
Head Coach Mick Cronin was quick to point out his team's shortcomings on the defensive end as the reason for the loss.
"We are not any good," said Cronin after the game. "The reason we aren't any good is that we are a bad defensive team."
The loss leaves many Bearcats fans scratching their heads. They added a talented class of newcomers to a team that began last season by winning seven of their first nine games.
"Last year we won games early because we were smart and we played good defense," Cronin said.
The Bearcats led 21-13 with seven minutes to go in the first half, and then Bowling Green decided to pack it in on defense with a 2-3 zone. The switch to zone gave the Bearcats fits on offense, as they scored just four points in the last seven minutes of the half.
Bowling Green finished the first half with a 18-4 run that put them out front 31-25 at the half. They managed to hold the Bearcats to 29 percent shooting in the first half and 36.5 percent for the game. At Halftime, Bowling Green had forced eight turnovers and committed just one.
"We had six deflections at halftime," Cronin said. "They had one turnover. That's poor defense."
The Bearcats just couldn't stop Bowling Green when it mattered. 240-pound Nate Miller took it to the basket at will against the Bearcats and although he struggled shooting the ball, he was able to create for his teammates. Whenever Bowling Green really needed a score, they cleared it out for Miller.
Chris Knight, a freshman from Withrow High School, couldn't be stopped by anyone on the Cats. He ended up with 24 points on 10-16 shooting. He also had eight rebounds and hit two 3-pointers.
There were very few bright spots for the Bearcats in the loss. Deonta Vaughn did finally got a few of his shots to fall in the second half of the game. He led the Cats in scoring with 17 points and went 5-12 from beyond the arc.
Freshman Anthony McClain made the most of his playing time, scoring eight points and pulling down seven boards in ten minutes or play.
Coach Cronin said his team needs to make open shots and play some defense if they are going to win games this season.
"When you can't make a wide open three and you can't make lay-ups and the other team is shooting shots right in your face, it's tough to win," Cronin said. "We won't win our next game if they shoot 45-50 percent from the field"