CATS Make HAMPTON Walk the Plank 79 to 56, to Stay Perfect and Advance to Third Round


The CATS turned it on after a slow start in a game that was never going to be a game, to

Photo by Tammie Brown - Midwest News and Sports
Photo by Tammie Brown – Midwest News and Sports

advance to Saturday’s NCAA Third Round game with Cincinnati. A Sea of Blue filled the KFC Yum Center

to watch their CATS continue the Pursuit of Perfection, and were not disappointed as the CATS easily

disposed of the Pirates. Slow starts have plagued the CATS throughout the season and this game was no

exception as the Pirates brought the intensity in the early going. The CATS only led 7 – 6 at the 15:29

media timeout, and 18 – 11 at the 11:05 mark. The CATS superior talent and physicality then took over

from that point forward and the CATS began to consistently feed Karl-Anthony Towns in the post. Towns

dominated the first half posting 12 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. The highlight play of the first half

was a Towns jumper on the break on a wonderful assist by Tyler Ulis at the 5:36. Towns went on to

convert the “and 1” to put the CATS up 26 to 14. From that point forward, the CATS went on to

outscore Hampton 15 to 8 to set the halftime margin of 41 to 22. The CATS shot 43.8% (14 for 32) and

held Hampton to 27.6% (8 for 29).

Hampton Head Coach, Edward Joyner, Jr., said post game that the CATS are “as good as

advertised,” and the CATS showed their might by extending their lead to 35 on three occasions, each on

dunks by Marcus Lee at 12:43 (63 to 28); Trey Lyles at 11:29 (65 to 30); and Towns at 10:25 (67 to 32).

As can be expected, the CATS put it on cruise from that point forward and the intensity loss allowed the

Pirates to outscore them 24 to 12 the rest of the game to set the final score.

This past week, Towns was named a Freshman All-American and he lived up to said billing by

posting a season-high 21 points and adding 11 rebounds. Three other CATS reached double figures with

Andrew Harrison posting 14, Ulis with 11, and Lyles with 10. Willie Cauley-Stein had a sub-par scoring

game only posting 7 points on 1 for 5 shooting and going 5 for 8 from the line, but still contributed 11

rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 assists. The CATS out rebounded the Pirates 51 to 31 and also continued to

share the ball by dishing 15 assists on 28 baskets. The CATS ended up shooting 45.9% (28 for 61) while

holding Hampton to 28.8% (17 for 59).

The CATS both started and ended slowly, and Cal stated that while he wasn’t happy with the

performance, same was understandable given the late start time and delay from the overtime of the

Cincinnati – Purdue game. Despite this not being the CATS best performance, in the NCAA tournament,

the objective is to survive and advance. Perfection is intact. 35 and 0, and on to the Bearcats on

Saturday we go!!

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