by Taylor Bergfeld
The 2022 Cincinnati Bearcats basketball season is coming to an end, as the Bearcats took on the South Florida Bulls on Senior night at 5/3rd Arena.
There is no easy way to put it, just a downright pathetic and embarrassing effort tonight from the Bearcats as they fall 56-54 to the now 8-20 Bulls of South Florida. Wes Miller continues the tradition of giving a start to all of his Seniors, the crowd went crazy when Sam Martin was announced as the starting guard for the Cats. The energy in the building was fantastic, but to no fault of the fans, the Bearcats’ offense was non-existent going to the under 16 media timeout with scoring a basket. It was not that the Bearcats were turning the ball over, they were settling for contested jump shots and relying too much on isolation opportunities rather than quick ball movement.
The Cats took a slight 27-25 lead into halftime after going a combined 9-34 from the field (26.5%). The highlight of the first half was Mason Madsen, the sharp-shooting guard stepped in and hit a pair of 3’s and played stellar defense in 8:00 minutes off the bench.
The second half was a similar story, the Bearcats couldn’t extend the lead over the Bulls. Senior David DeJulius and Junior Jeremiah Davenport both struggled shooting tonight but both played their ass off on the defensive end. Constantly diving for loose balls and drawing charges that electrified 5/3rd Arena.
Jeremiah Davenport had a massive three-pointer in the corner to tie the game up at 54-54 with just:58 seconds to play. After forcing a turnover the Bearcats had the ball with just over 36 seconds to play looking to put the final nail in the coffin. Senior guard David DeJulius was the one to take the shot coming off a ball screen and he hit every part of the rim as the shot wouldn’t fall. South Florida coach Brian Gregory called a TO to draw up what would end up being the game-winning play as the Bulls inbounded the ball to Corey Walker Jr who found Russel Tchewa for the last-second shot floater that left 5/3rd Arena speechless.
The Bearcats fall on Senior night and add another frustrating loss to their season total. The Bearcats have an insane finishing schedule as they travel to Houston, to take on the #14 Cougars on Tuesday and finish the season at NCAA Tournament hopeful SMU. After that, it will be the AAC tournament in Ft Worth, one that if the Bearcats want to see their name on Selection Sunday, they’ll have to win the whole damn thing.
Be sure to check out At-Large-Bid for all of your Conference Tournament previews/breakdowns as we get closer to the best week of the year.
Photos Courtesy of Matt Wilson photography.