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Cincinnati Hopes To Run Past Purdue In NCAA Tournament Thursday

Stan Jastrzebski

University of Cincinnati players say they hope to speed up the tempo of Thursday’s NCAA tournament game with Purdue when the Bearcats are on offense and slow it down when Purdue has the ball.

Cincinnati allows an average of just 55 points per game this season, good for sixth-best in Division I. Senior forward Jermaine Sanders says he thinks if his team can run, they have the edge.

“I believe that will be the time that we can put them away," Sanders says. "Like I said, we’ve got to rebound the ball very well this game so we can get out in transition and score and make their big guys get tired and keep running so it can be a fast-paced game. But I don’t think that they’ll be able to compete with us in a fast-paced game.”

Cincinnati Associate Head Coach Larry Davis says preparing for playing Purdue is like looking in a mirror because the team teams’ statistics are so similar. To win, he says, one team must step outside the averages.

“Shooting percentage – who tomorrow stays true to their numbers and holds that team to around 38-39-percent? Will one of us get going on offense and be able to shoot 45-50-percent,” he says.

Both teams also rely on blocked shots to key their defense. No first-round matchup features teams with more total blocked shots than Purdue and Cincinnati. The game tips off in Louisville just after 7 p.m. Thursday.

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