Deonta Vaughn led Cincinnati to a 93-83 win over Notre Dame last night with a game-high 34 points. The Bearcats have now improved to 5-5 inNotre Dame Cincinnati Basketball conference play, jumping West Virginia for 7th place in the Big East standings.
The Bearcat victory came at the expense of a struggling Irish team that has not won a game since Jan. 10th. With six consecutive losses, the preseason ranked #9 Irish have completely fallen off the face of the Earth, losing six consecutive games for the first time since the 1993-94 season.
Don’t blame captain Luke Harangody for the Irish’s lack of success lately. His 28 points and 14 rebounds against Cincinnati is his 11th consecutive double-double.
The first half was a ping-pong match, as the teams exchanged the lead 11 times. Neither team could extend their lead beyond 5 points, however, and they entered halftime tied at 37.
Cincinnati went on a 10-0 run midway through the second half, taking a 66-52 lead with under 10 minutes to play.
The Bearcats extended their lead to as much as 14 points within the final 2 minutes of regulation behind outstanding play from Larry Davis (21 points) and Yancy Gates (15 points).
Harangody took nearly twice as many shots from the field as any other player on his team. If the Irish want to stop their losing ways, they will need to find a way to get Kyle McAlarney (13 points) more active.
One bright side for Notre Dame is Ryan Ayers (14 points), how has shot 75 percent from the field in his last two games.