UC’s Wes Miller, CJ Fredrick, and Day Day Thomas on UIC Win at Fifth Third Arena
The University of Cincinnati Bearcats kicked off their journey in Big 12 basketball with a hard-fought victory against Illinois-Chicago, winning 69-58 at Fifth Third Arena on November 6th.
Despite a challenging shooting night, UC managed to secure the win, improving their home record to 29-9 under head coach Wes Miller.
Day Day Thomas, the new junior point guard, led the team in scoring with 15 points, followed by Dan Skillings Jr. with 13 points and C.J. Fredrick with 11 points in his debut as a Bearcat, all of which were scored in the first half.
UC shot 41.8% from the field and struggled from beyond the arc, making only 5 of 25 three-point attempts. However, they dominated the rebound battle, outrebounding the Flames 39-36.
Coach Miller expressed his satisfaction with the win despite the team’s shooting struggles. He remains confident that the Bearcats will be a good shooting team and attributed the missed shots to a lack of luck rather than poor execution.
Key Takeaways from the Game
Impressive Performance by Day Day
In his first NCAA Division I game, Day Day Thomas showcased his skills by leading the Bearcats in points, assists, and steals, scoring 15 points, dishing out 3 assists, and making 3 steals. He played a crucial role in UC’s 20-2 advantage in points off turnovers. Thomas also displayed his athleticism with a breakaway dunk that got the crowd energized.
UC’s European duo, Viktor Lakhin from Russia and Simas Lukošius from Lithuania, had a tough night shooting-wise. Combined, they made only 4 of 19 field goal attempts, with Lukošius converting just 1 of his 6 three-point tries. Lakhin contributed 7 points and 8 rebounds, while Lukošius finished with 5 points. Coach Miller remains confident in their abilities and expects them to bounce back in future games.
C.J. Fredrick Makes an Impact
C.J. Fredrick, known for his shooting prowess, made an immediate impact in his first game as a Bearcat. After a slow start from three-point range for UC, Fredrick knocked down a three-pointer midway through the first half, finishing the half as the team’s leading scorer with 11 points. Fredrick expressed his gratitude towards the student section and fans for their support during the late-night game.
UC Continues Late Night Success
Under Wes Miller’s leadership, UC has maintained a perfect record of 5-0 in games that start after 9 p.m. The last time Illinois-Chicago visited UC’s home court was in the early 1980s when they played at then-Riverfront Coliseum.
Mixed Emotions for Coach Miller
Following the win, Wes Miller expressed his frustration with the ineligibility of transfers Aziz Bandaogo and Jamille Reynolds. He believes that both players have met the NCAA guidelines for two-time transfers, and their absence from the court only punishes them. Miller questioned the purpose of denying these players the opportunity to play basketball and voiced his dissatisfaction with the delay in their appeal process.
UC will be participating in the Multiple Team Event (MTE) at Fifth Third Arena this weekend. The games are not included in the season-ticket package, but ticket prices are lower, giving fans the chance to experience seats that are not typically available. The Bearcats will face off against Detroit Mercy on Friday night at 7 p.m. and Eastern Washington on Sunday at noon.
Women’s Team Highlights
Before the men’s game, Katrina Merriweather’s UC women’s team played against No. 17 ranked Louisville. Although the Bearcats outscored Louisville in the first and third quarters, a late second-quarter run by the Cardinals gave them the advantage, resulting in a 77-59 victory. Jillian Hayes led UC with an impressive performance, scoring 20 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. Coach Merriweather praised her performance and emphasized the importance of managing her minutes to prevent excessive fatigue.
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Laura Davis covers the world of basketball with precision. Her articles explore NBA and college basketball, offering game analysis, player profiles, and highlights. Laura’s passion for hoops is evident in her comprehensive basketball coverage.