Joseph is the leading scorer on the team at 15.3 points per game, but in the Orange's first four Big East games he had averaged 19.5 points. In his absence, the other players kept making key contributions, from James Southerland and C.J. Fair to Keita and Melo.
Rick Jackson posted his 11th double-double of the season consisting of 15 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. His value partly lies in the intangibles that he provides. Here, it included blockading the interior and making life very difficult for opposing teams to score.Jackson's passing accuracy has greatly improved so, at times, it resembles a quarterback throwing perfect strikes to the outlet receivers.
Southerland finished with eight points, five of which came in the second half and that propelled the Orange to a 16 to 0 run. He played excellent defense, too, grabbing seven rebounds.
"I thought James did a tremendous job with Kris being out," said head coach Jim Boeheim. "Both he and C.J. really picked it up. Cincinnati's a really good team and to start the second half like that with a 16-0 run was remarkable."
Brandon Triche has evolved into a reliable scorer, adding 11 points and seven assists. In the last five Big East games, he is shooting at 25-for-44 from the field (56.8 percent) and 10-for-21 beyond the arc. Scoop Jardine matched Triche, contributing 15 points, four assists and three steals.
Unlike many times this season, SU had a quick start, rolling to an 18-3 advantage. The 2-3 zone defense dictated the pace and flustered Cincinnati to miss its first 8 shots, and five different players scored on the other side. Triche netted 4 points and Jardine hit consecutive 3-pointers and Jackson ripped down 6 boards.
The Bearcats eventually clawed back into the contest compliments as its perimeter shooting heated up. Dion Dixion delivered four of those treys, Sean Kilpatrick added two and Larry Wright pitched in with one.