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Cincinnati faces Stetson still in search of more confidence


Cincinnati will go for its 10th victory of the season when it welcomes Stetson in a nonconference matchup on Friday evening.

The Bearcats (9-2) are coming off a 65-49 win over Merrimack in their most recent game Tuesday night. They started the season with seven straight victories but have alternated wins and losses in each of their past four games.

“All in all, am I pleased with how we’re playing? I’m not,” Cincinnati coach Wes Miller said after the win over Merrimack. “But I’m glad we got our defense more active. I was pleased that we held a team under 50. I thought, ‘We’ve got to get that confidence back,’ and I think we will.”

Cincinnati’s next test will come against Stetson (7-5). The Hatters also have alternated losses and victories in their past four games, with their most recent contest ending with an 80-68 win over Florida International.

Jalen Blackmon scored 28 points to lead Stetson. Alec Oglesby scored a season-high 22 points to go along with eight rebounds.

Stetson coach Donnie Jones said he was happy with his players’ effort, which followed a disappointing loss against Omaha.

“This was a huge back-bounce game after a tough loss on the road, especially against a very good team in FIU,” Jones said. “Alec really got into rhythm and played both ends of the floor well for us.”

Blackmon is the Hatters’ top scorer with 22.6 points per game on 47.6 percent shooting. Big man Aubin Gateretse is averaging 11.4 points and a team-high 7.6 rebounds, and Stephan Swenson is third on the scoring list with 10.8 points to go along with a team-high 6.5 assists.

Cincinnati’s leading scorer is Viktor Lakhin. The 6-foot-11, 240-pound forward from Russia is averaging 14 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds.

Day Day Thomas ranks second with 11 points per game, and he has provided tenacious defense with 1.7 steals per contest. Dan Skillings Jr. is third in scoring with an average of 9.7 points.

This is the first matchup between Cincinnati and Stetson.

–Field Level Media

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