Tenn Tech 62

(6-2, 3-0 OVC)

Cincinnati 105

(6-2, 5-2 home)

    7:00 PM ET, December 17, 2005

    Fifth Third Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio

    1 2 T
    TNTC 25 3762
    CIN 51 54105

    Top Performers

    Tennessee Tech: A. Fisher 16 Pts, 3 Reb

    Cincinnati: E. Hicks 19 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 5 Blk

    Cincinnati 105, Tennessee Tech 62

    CINCINNATI (AP) -- Eric Hicks had a breakout game in an offense determined to get him the ball, scoring a season-high 19 points Saturday night during Cincinnati's 105-62 victory over Tennessee Tech in the first round of the Las Vegas Holiday Classic.

    Hicks has been the focus of opposing defenses all season because the Bearcats lack another proven scoring threat under the basket. Until Saturday night, the power forward struggled to merely find a good shot.

    His teammates made sure he got plenty against Tennessee Tech (6-2), the defending Ohio Valley Conference regular-season champion. Hicks made six of his first seven shots, scoring 13 points during an opening 19-9 run that sent the Bearcats (6-2) toward their most lopsided victory of the season.

    When the Golden Eagles finally slowed Hicks with their zone defense, his teammates took advantage -- five players finished in double figures. It was Cincinnati's highest score since a 105-57 win over Tulane on Jan. 29, 2001.

    Freshman point guard Devan Downey added 16 points and nine assists for Cincinnati, which has rounded into form during the past eight days with increasingly lopsided wins over Vanderbilt, Ohio and Tennessee Tech.

    Anthony Fisher scored 16 for Tennessee Tech, which shot only 32.3 percent from the field.

    The Las Vegas Holiday Classic is an exempt tournament played at regional sites for the first two rounds. The tournament concludes with games next week in Las Vegas.

    The game represented another milestone for Tennessee Tech coach Mike Sutton, who is recovering from an inflammatory nerve disorder that left him paralyzed last spring. Sutton, 49, attended his first road game of the season, getting around the court in a motorized wheelchair.

    During pregame warmups, Sutton backed his chair into an opening next to the scorer's table, the spot reserved for head coaches. He talked throughout the game with associate head coach Steve Payne, who is running the team.

    Sutton's first game as the Golden Eagles' head coach also was in Cincinnati, a 72-63 loss that opened the 2002-03 season.

    The crowd of 7,011 was the smallest yet for one of Cincinnati's games this season. The Bearcats haven't come close to filling their 13,176-seat arena since Bob Huggins was ousted as coach in August.

    The Bearcats needed time to get comfortable in the fastbreak approach installed by interim coach Andy Kennedy. They did everything they wanted against the Golden Eagles, who never recovered from the opening run.

    Hicks set the tone by hitting a turnaround bank shot on the first possession. Downey, Chadd Moore and James White passed inside to Hicks for baskets during the 19-9 spurt. Downey, coming off a 24-point performance against Ohio, kept the offense rolling with another solid game -- seven rebounds to go with his 16 points in only 28 minutes.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 62 105
    FG Made-Attempted 20-62 (.323) 40-71 (.563)
    3P Made-Attempted 7-20 (.350) 2-12 (.167)
    FT Made-Attempted 15-26 (.577) 23-29 (.793)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 17 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 43

    2005-06 Season

    » Dec 17, 2005 @CIN 105, TNTC 62Recap