Coming off their first loss to an unranked opponent this season, the Bearcats of Cincinnati looked to rebound against an underrated Tulsa team.
The Bearcats opened the game with two quick three-pointers from Farad Cobb as the Bearcats took an early 8-2 lead going into the first TV timeout. Cobb then followed the break with another three-pointer along with Gary Clark adding a two-pointer. Tulsa was forced to call timeout.
Tulsa opened the game shooting just 1-of-11 and turned the ball over early and often facing a determined Cincinnati defense. The stifling defense of the Bearcats helped ignite a hungry offense. Cincinnati, who has struggled as of late from behind the arc, found their shooting touch in this one, hitting 12-of-23 (52.2 percent) from behind the three-point line.
Tulsa couldn't manage to put up any points until the under four minute timeout where they seemed to find their own groove and pulled within 14. The Golden Hurricane still trailed 42-28 at the half with Cincinnati's 42 points being one of the highest totals this season for the Bearcats in a half of play.
The Bearcats came out in the second half and did not let up in front of a crazy crowd. With dunks flying in left and right, it was evident this Bearcat team needed a game like this after a rough December.
Cobb lead Cincinnati in scoring with 21 points and went 5-of-7 from behind the arc, followed by Troy Caupain with eight points and seven assists. Quadri Moore added eight points of his own off the bench, going 2-of-3 from three himself.
Although only one player for Cincinnati scored in double figures it was an all-around great offensive performance. The Bearcats shot 46 percent from the field and 53 percent from behind the arc.
The Bearcats assisted on 20 shots out of 27 made field goals. They also lead in rebounding pulling down 39 rebounds compared to 31 rebounds for the Golden Hurricane.
Coming off a poor defensive showing against Temple where head coach Mick Cronin apologized for their effort, this Bearcats team responded with a fury. They shut down Tulsa on almost every play and forced them to take many off-balance shots. This team has struggled with consistency all season on defense, but finally seemed to find their groove. The defense held Tulsa to 33 percent from the field and forced 14 turnovers off of 11 steals.
Tulsa's Shaquille Harrison paced the scoring for Tulsa with 21 points and Pat Birt added 13 points. James Woodard, who came in averaging 16.5 points per game, scored only nine points. Woodard was stifled by the Bearcats defense, going only 3-of-11 from the field and 1-of-7 from beyond the arc.
In a game that this Bearcats team needed to win, they were able to get back to winning and earn a conference victory behind a dominant defensive performance.
Cincinnati is in action again next Thursday, on the road, against a talented No. 17 SMU team.