The Cincinnati Bearcats (1-1) will host the Furman Paladins (5-0) at Fifth Third Arena Wednesday.
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The game (5 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on regular TV anywhere, but you can watch Furman vs Cincinnati live on ESPN+ right here:
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Furman vs Cincinnati Preview
The Bearcats are coming off a disappointing 77-69 loss to Xavier in the Crosstown Shootout this weekend. Center Chris Vogt got in foul trouble, eventually fouling out late in the second half, and he was outmanned in the paint, grabbing just one rebound throughout the entire game.
“We gotta get better,” Cincinnati coach John Brannen said after the loss. “Just as a whole, we gotta get better. And I knew that going into the game. Now, it kind of shed some light on some more areas that we need to improve upon.” Brannen also singled Vogt out as someone who needs to re-vamp his efforts, calling the big man out for his lack of rebounds. “I mean, Chris is 7-1, 260 pounds. For him to have one rebound, that can’t happen,” Brannen said.
The loss to Xavier came down tow free throws, however. Xavier converted five free throws in the last four minutes, while Keith Williams missed three free throws, including two with 33 seconds left and the Bearcats down by four, 73-69.
“I missed two free throws at the line,” he said. “I can’t do that. It’s just a learning experience right now. We just have to move on. This is game two for us, we can’t hang our heads.”
Furman coach Bob Richey and company are fresh from an 81-57 win over Charleston. Mike Bothwell led the way for Furman with 26 points, Noah Gurley added 18, and Jalen Slawson was an assist shy of a triple-double, scoring 16 points while hauling in 10 rebounds and dishing out nine assists.
“I told him early, we’re going to use you in a different way this season, as sort of point forward type,” Richey said about Slawson. “And I had to convince him, that’s the direction the game is going. He’s going to be in some mismatch situations with his feet and his skills, and he’s really taken to it. He was one assist away from a triple-double tonight, and I don’t think we’ve ever had a triple-double on record here at Furman.”
The Paladins are averaging 89 points through four games, and they’re allowing 57.6 points per contest, so they have been playing solid defense to start the season. Bothwell, Slawson and Gurley are three of five Furman players averaging in double figures, along with Clay Mounce (12.8 points a game) and Alex Hunter (11.0 points a game), so the Paladins have a balanced attack on offense, as well.