Blue Hose face tall task in clash with 20th-ranked Bearcats

Nov 19, 2011 - 3:39 PM Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - In what certainly appears to be a mismatch, the 20th-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats welcome the Presbyterian Blue Hose to the Queen City for this afternoon's non-conference affair.

A Big South Conference member, the Blue Hose enter this game with a 2-2 record and are coming off an 80-73 setback to Western Carolina on Thursday. They did play one ranked team already, as they were absolutely crushed by Duke on the road in a 96-55 final. With that score in mind, Presbyterian doesn't seem to have much of a chance against the Bearcats today.

Speaking of Cincinnati, it has opened the season with back-to-back double- digit victories as expected. The Bearcats were most recently in action on Tuesday when they defeated Jacksonville State by a 73-59 final. Today's game is the third of what will be six consecutive home games to open the campaign for Cincinnati, a member of the brutal Big East Conference.

This game marks the first-ever meeting between Presbyterian and Cincinnati on the hardwood.

There are two double-digit scorers on the Presbyterian roster, and Al'Lonzo Coleman leads the way with 17.0 ppg and 6.0 rpg while shooting 54.5 percent from the field. Khalid Mutakabbir checks in with 13.5 ppg for the Blue Hose, who are netting 77.2 ppg on 49.3 percent field goal efficiency. Defensively, they are permitting 74. ppg to foes. In the most recent outing against Western Carolina, Coleman and Josh Johnson both scored 18 points, while Pierre Miller was close behind with 17 points. Mutakabbir added 14 points for Presbyterian, which shot 52.9 percent from the field. The Blue Hose trailed by six points at intermission and couldn't fight back in the second stanza. They needed to play better defense, as the Catamounts were able to connect on 51.7 percent of their field goal attempts.

Cashmere Wright and Dion Dixon were outstanding in the 14-point win over Jacksonville State last time out, as the Cincinnati guards dominated the game offensively. Wright shot 9-of-14 from the field and finished with 23 points, while Dixon tallied 20 points and pulled down nine boards. The Bearcats turned the ball over 20 times in the affair, but the they did earn a 40-32 rebounding advantage and limited the Gamecocks to 37.1 percent field goal efficiency. In the opener against Alabama State, four of the five starters for Cincinnati scored in double figures. The Bearcats held their overmatched opponent to 29 percent shooting from the field and forced 17 turnovers in that affair, and it certainly appears that strong defense will be the calling card of the squad all season.

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