The Bearcats were able to pick up their second consecutive win, after facing defeat to their arch-rival Xavier just one week ago. Cincinnati went into the Stuart Siegal Center to square off against the Rams of VCU and defeated the home team by a final score of 69-63 to move to 10-2 on the season.
In the first half, it was Troy Caupain, Farad Cobb, and Jacob Evans who were making their mark in the scoring column for the Bearcats. The three combined for 22 points on 7-15 shooting. Gary Clark and Shaq Thomas also pitched in as they both went into the break with four points and six rebounds.
The story of the Rams first half would be Korey Billbury coming up with an incredible performance as he dropped 13 points on 4-6 shooting including three three-pointers. Billbury's first half effort was much needed as VCU's leading scorer Melvin Johnson couldn't get anything going. The senior guard, who averages close to 20 points per night, went into the break with just two points. Both points came from the charity stripe as Johnson was 0-6 from the field. The Bearcats went into intermission with a two-point lead at 33-31.
The second half included some back and forth action between the two universities. Despite some front-court foul trouble, including Coreontae DeBerry and Octavius Ellis fouling out and some forgettable turnovers during a late VCU run, the Bearcats were able to outlast the Rams. While Caupain, Cobb, and Evans carried the load in the first half, it was Gary Clark who stepped up big-time for the Cats in the second. Clark added nine points and three rebounds to his first half line and finished just one rebound shy of a double-double.
For VCU, they got some second half contributions from Mo Alie-Cox, Michael Gilmore, and JeQuan Lewis, to go along with Billbury. Ultimately though, their leading scorer never poised any sort of threat as he finished with just those two first half points on 0-11 shooting. They also couldn't keep Cincinnati off of the free throw line and the Bearcats made them pay. UC knocked down 30 of their 35 freebies -- over 85% -- and came away with the six point win.
Cincinnati will look to keep the momentum going as they face a difficult task on Tuesday night. Mick Cronin and the Bearcats will take on No. 5 Iowa State, who play on ESPNU at 7 P.M EST, at Fifth Third Arena. The Cyclones are currently a flawless 9-0 on the season.