CINCINNATI (AP) -- Brian Roberts darted through Cincinnati's
man-to-man defense for layups Tuesday night, scoring 24 points in a
high-percentage performance that steadied Dayton to a breakthrough
75-66 victory over the reeling Bearcats.
The Flyers (3-2) ended a 15-game losing streak on Cincinnati's
court, getting only their second victory in the last 15 games of
their series. That Dayton beat anybody in Cincinnati was noteworthy
-- the Flyers are 3-39 in the city since the 1981-82 season.
Roberts put the sizzle in an offense that took its time and
found its mark. Dayton shot 49 percent from the field and
outrebounded the Bearcats 36-33, putting more effort into getting
Cincinnati (3-1) took the rare home-court loss a day after
assistant coach Keith LeGree resigned following his second drunken
driving arrest, the latest blow to a program still trying to
recover from coach Bob Huggins' forced resignation in August.
LeGree's departure left interim coach Andy Kennedy with only one
full-time assistant -- two less than the norm. For the first time,
the Bearcats looked like a team weighed down by its recent past.
Roberts went 9-of-13 from the field in his latest impressive
performance -- he had 34 in a double-overtime loss at Creighton on
Saturday. Monty Scott added 16 points for Dayton, and James Cripe
Power forward Eric Hicks had 18 points and eight rebounds for
Cincinnati, which went only 4-of-19 from behind the 3-point arc.
There were two ties and nine lead chances at the start of the
game, and neither team led by more than five before the Flyers took
control by going 2½ minutes without missing a shot.
They hit all five in a 12-0 run that made it 40-31, the first
time this season that Cincinnati trailed by so many points. Roberts
made a three-point play off a fastbreak layup and drove for another
score during the perfect run, which left Dayton shooting 16-of-25
(64 percent) from the field.
The Flyers earned the gaudy numbers, patiently passing until
they got an open shot.
Unable to keep up, the Bearcats panicked. Struggling senior
forward Armein Kirkland rushed a 22-foot shot with plenty of time
on the shot clock, drawing boos from the below-capacity crowd of
9,199. Cincinnati forced two more 3's that badly missed their mark,
fueling Dayton's surge.
Roberts' fastbreak layup made it 53-43 with 15:40 left in the
game, putting the Flyers in control.
Shortly after Kennedy yelled at Hicks to "Do something!" on
offense, the power forward scored a couple of close-up baskets that
cut it to 55-52. Consecutive 3-pointers by Scott halted the
comeback and rebuilt the lead to 10 points with 8 minutes left.
Cedric McGowan's 3-pointer got Cincinnati within 71-66 with 3:02
to go, but the Bearcats missed their last seven shots and two free