In Cincinnati's biggest test of their 2015-16 season thus far, the Bearcats outlasted the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 65-61, and moved to 6-0. With the win at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, the Bearcats will move on to the final game of the showcase to play either the Tennessee Volunteers or the George Washington Colonials (who are playing now on ESPN3 as of this posting).
The Bearcats will enter that contest, fresh off a tough, hard-fought game against the Cornhuskers. Neither team led the game by more than four points until the final 3:55 mark when Octavius Ellis knocked down two free throws and put the Bearcats up, 55-49. Ellis would follow that up with a layup, giving the Bearcats the biggest lead of the game at eight points and that lead would prove insurmountable for the Huskers.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well with Nebraska going 22-of-52 (42.3%) from the field and 7-of-16 (43.8%) from three. Cincinnati had another rough night shooting, going 21-of-54 (38.9%) from the field and 7-of-17 (41.2%) from the beyond the arc. While the Cornhuskers shot the ball better than Cincinnati overall, the real advantage for Nebraska was from the free throw line where they went 10-of-11 (90.9%) while the Bearcats were 16-of-24 (66.7%). The poor free throw shooting nearly was the Bearcats' undoing as Cincinnati missed four of their final 10 free throw attempts in the final minute of the game.
When Cincinnati did get their shot to drop, it usually was because of one of three guys. Ellis scored 12 points while Shaq Thomas scored 14. The Bearcats were paced by Troy Caupain, who had 17 points, in his largest scoring output of the season. Caupain did so going 5-of-11 from the field and 4-of-8 from three-point range. Farad Cobb, who began the season so hot, had another cold night, going only 1-of-6 from the field and 0-for-1 from beyond the arc. He finished with two points.
Cincinnati was very impressive on the boards in this one, bringing down 39 rebounds to Nebraska's 29. The Bearcats were particularly successful on the offensive boards with 16 rebounds for second chance opportunities. As you probably have guessed, Ellis led the team with seven offensive rebounds and nine total. Freshman Jacob Evans III was quiet scoring, with only four points, but did reel in seven rebounds himself. Evans also led the team with four assists.
Tai Webster led the way for Nebraska with 21 points on 7-of-12 (58.3%) shooting. Andrew White was held in check, scoring only eight points compared to his 16.2 average. Shavon Shields scored 14 points for the Cornhuskers.
Cincinnati awaits the winner of the George Washington/Tennessee game. The final game of the Barclays Center Classic will be tomorrow at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.