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Cincinnati downs OU 66-56 in All-College Classic

By Mike Baldwin, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Modified: December 18, 2010 at 11:27 pm •  Published: December 18, 2010

Cincinnati remains undefeated, but Oklahoma made the Bearcats work for a 66-56 All-College win Saturday night at Oklahoma City Arena.

On a night senior leader Cade Davis was 1-of-10 from the field, and OU shot 33.3 percent, you would expect a blowout loss. The Sooners, though, stayed within striking range much of the game in front of an announced doubleheader crowd of 10,625.

“Hanging around with a team that's undefeated when we're not making any shots at all, that shows other aspects of our game are getting better,” Davis said. “I don't think we'll have another game this year we shoot this bad.”

Off to its best start in six years, Cincinnati (10-0) trailed only once early in the game, but the Bearcats had to withstand a couple of OU second-half runs. UC drained a dozen free throws the final five minutes to seal the win.

“Whenever you win by 10 and don't play particularly well you have to be happy,” said Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin. “But give Oklahoma some credit for that. I thought their defense was pretty good. ... That's as well as we've been defended in a while.”

Getting good shots was a challenge against a suffocating Cincinnati defense that contested nearly every pass. The encouraging sign for the Sooners (5-6) was their recent trend of playing good defense kept the game competitive.

During a five-game losing streak, OU's opponents shot over 50 percent. But the past three games, the Sooners' defense has been much improved.

The difference was a much deeper Cincinnati roster outscored the Sooners 16-3 in bench points and 22-15 on points off turnovers.

“We try to really pressure defensively,” Cronin said. “They did a good job. They only turned it over 13 times. And our bench was a big factor in the game.”

Saturday's box score

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