Men's Hoops Host St. John's on Saturday at 4 p.m. :: No. 14/15 Bearcats welcome Red Storm for BIG EAST home opener Men's Hoops Host St. John's on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Jan. 4, 2013

GameTracker Statistics | Cincinnati Game Notes | ESPNU/WatchESPN.com

The No. 14/15 University of Cincinnati men’s basketball team plays its BIG EAST Conference home opener on Saturday when St. John’s comes to Fifth Third Arena for a 4 p.m. ET tip off. The contest will be televised by ESPNU and is also available on 1360 WSAI-AM.

Cincinnati (13-1, 1-0 BIG EAST) won its league opener Monday on the road, defeating No. 24 Pittsburgh 70-61. Cashmere Wright led the Bearcats with 18 points on 5 of 10 shooting. Sean Kilpatrick added 16 points, including 9 of 11 shooting from the free-throw line. JaQuon Parker added 13 points and five rebounds.  

St. John’s (8-5, 0-1 BIG EAST) is coming off a 98-86 overtime loss at Villanova in its conference opener on Wednesday. The Red Storm was led by D’Angelo Harrison who scored a game-high 36 points with six three-pointers. Amir Garrett and Phil Greene IV added 15 points each.  The contest was St. John’s first following an 11-day break.   

Cincinnati and St. John’s split a pair of meetings last season. The Bearcats  won the last matchup with the Red Storm 76-54 on Feb. 8 in New York. St. John’s edged UC at Fifth Third Arena 57-55 at the buzzer on Jan. 7.

St. John’s leads the all-time series 8-7. St. John’s leads 3-2 in Cincinnati and 2-1 at neutral sites. Cincinnati leads 4-3 in New York.

Game at a Glance
Series Info: 16th meeting; St. John’s leads 8-7 in the all-time series. St. John’s 3-2 in Cincinnati and 2-1 at neutral sites. Cincinnati leads 4-3 in New York. STREAK - Cincinnati won the last game.
Last Season’s Meetings: St. John’s won 57-55 on Jan. 7 in Cincinnati. Cincinnati won 76-54 in New York on Feb. 8.
Coaches: Mick Cronin is in his seventh season at Cincinnati (126-89); 10th season overall (195-113).
Steve Lavin is in his third season at St. John’s (31-19); ninth season overall (176-97).
Rankings: Cincinnati is ranked No. 14 in the AP poll and No. 15 in the USA Today poll for the week of Dec. 31. St. John’s is not ranked in either poll.
Radio: 1360 WSAI-AM; Tom Gelehrter provides play-by-play with color analyst Chuck Machock.
TV: ESPNU; Beth Mowins provides play-by-play with color analyst Tim Welsh. Todd Kulis produces.
UC Twitter Page: @GoBEARCATS

Cincinnati Storylines
-The Bearcats are looking to start league play at 2-0 for the fourth consecutive season and the fifth time in eight years in the BIG EAST.
-UC is 5-2 in BIG EAST home openers, having won its last three contests.  
-With a win on Saturday against St. John’s, the Bearcats can improve to 14-1 overall this season. It would mark only the 11th time in school history (112 seasons) a UC squad has won 14 of its first 15 games to start a season.
-The Bearcats were one of the last five undefeated Division I teams this season (along with Arizona, Duke, Michigan and Wyoming).
-Since the start of the 2010-11 season Cincinnati ranks third in the league with 65 overall wins, behind only Syracuse (73) and Louisville (67). The Bearcats are tied for third in the conference with Marquette at 24 league wins behind only Syracuse (30) and Notre Dame (27).  
-Cashmere Wright needs two assists Saturday against St. John’s to move past UC legend Oscar Robertson (425 assists from 1957-60) for fourth place in Bearcats’ history.
Sean Kilpatrick has scored in double figures in all 14 games this season and has tallied 20 or more points five times.
-Mick Cronin is one win shy from taking sole possession of third place on the UC career coaching wins list. He matched Gale Catlett’s win total (126 wins from 1973-78) following Monday’s win at Pittsburgh.  
UC’s defense has performed well through 14 games this season, limiting opponents to only 35.5 percent shooting from the field (second in the BIG EAST).
-For the first time since joining the BIG EAST prior to the start of the 2005-06 season, UC held a league foe without a three-pointer when Pittsburgh went 0 of 10 from beyond the arc on Dec. 31.

Scouting St. John’s
-St. John’s comes to Fifth Third Arena on Saturday on a two-game losing streak following a 72-65 home loss to UNC Asheville on Dec. 21 and a 98-86 overtime loss at Villanova on Wednesday.
-The Red Storm is led by sophomore guard D’Angelo Harrison who ranks first in the BIG EAST in scoring at 22.1 points per game. He also leads his team in three-pointers per game (2.6), three-point shooting (37.4 percent) and steals (2.0). He was tabbed a second team All-BIG EAST selection in the preseason by the league’s coaches.
-Sophomore guard Phil Greene IV leads St. John’s with 3.5 assists per game while freshman forward JaKarr Sampson leads the team with 6.9 rebounds per game.
-Freshman center Chris Obepka leads the BIG EAST in blocks with 5.23. He ranked first in the nation in blocks through Dec. 30, averaging 5.33.
-The Red Storm was picked to finish 10th in the BIG EAST according to a preseason poll of league coaches.
-St. John’s finished the 2011-12 campaign 13-19 overall with a 6-12 BIG EAST record.       

The St. John's Series
-St. John’s leads the all-time series 8-7. St. John’s leads 3-2 in Cincinnati and 2-1 at neutral sites. Cincinnati leads 4-3 in New York.
-The two squads split a pair of meetings last season.  St. John’s won 57-55 on Jan. 7 in Cincinnati. UC claimed a 76-54 victory at Madison Square Garden in New York on Feb. 8.
-The Bearcats are looking for back-to-back wins in the series for the first time since a pair of victories in the 2009 season.