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Everybody points for the champ
Ray Cave
January 29, 1962
Cincinnati's abrasive defense won two big games last week, but the Bearcats must still make the NCAA tournament
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January 29, 1962

Everybody Points For The Champ

Cincinnati's abrasive defense won two big games last week, but the Bearcats must still make the NCAA tournament

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Twenty thousand Duquesne partisans would have liked to get into the gym which seats a mere 5,333. Tickets had been counterfeited, and extra police had to be summoned to keep the throng from battering down the doors. The Duquesne players were rough and ready, too, using the slashing, slamming tactics for which they are known. "Some of those fouls," said a man at courtside, "would have been fouls in hockey." He was right. In the face of this, the Cincinnati offense had an even worse start than usual. At the end of the first 15 minutes of play Cincy had scored exactly 12 points and was behind 24-12. Bonham was having trouble on defense, the team missed six of its first 10 foul shots and made 12 first-half errors.

But Ed Jucker kept bouncing up and down on the bench, bouncing players in and out of the game searching for a combination and, above all, making sure his team kept its head. It did, as it always does. The cool Bearcats finally caught up, with 10 minutes left in the game, and won handily, 62-54. "The roughest game I have ever seen," said Jucker afterward.

That was the evening he sat in front of the television set and learned Bradley had beaten Drake. Then, two nights later, Bradley lost to Wichita, and Ed Jucker felt just a bit better. In this conference, where the home teams win, he would soon be entertaining Bradley at Cincinnati, and Cincinnati hasn't lost at home in five years. A Cincinnati win there could well throw the conference into a three-way tie. Ed Jucker is rightfully worried, but his team is behaving true to form. It is coming from behind, and it is putting on the pressure, pressure, pressure.

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