Mick Cronin earned his 200th win of his career in dominant fashion over the lowly Tulane Green Wave, 97-75, with four Bearcats scoring double-digit points and the game never really being in question. After winning a tough game against Memphis earlier in the week, Cincinnati looked to avoid the letdown against a Tulane team that has struggled to score this season. Cincinnati avoided the letdown in a major way, putting on an offensive clinic and stifling the Tulane offense when it mattered.
Cincinnati started fast and essentially ended the game within the game's first five minutes. The Bearcats scored first with two buckets from Gary Clark and Farad Cobb before Tulane's Malik Morgan knocked in the first shot for the Green Wave. That 4-3 lead for Cincinnati was as close as this game would get.
Led by Cobb, Clark, Octavius Ellis and Shaq Thomas, the Cincinnati offense took off. After five minutes of game play, the Bearcats led 20-5. At the midway point in the first half, Cincinnati already led 36-11 and the Bearcats had the 49-27 lead at the halftime break.
If the game wasn't over by that point, it certainly was when Cincinnati came out after the break and didn't let up on the throttle. Cincinnati kept finding ways to score and played suffocating defense for much of the game with the score 80-40 in favor of the Bearcats with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game. Tulane outscored the Bearcats in garbage time, but this game was over just after the opening tipoff.
Clark and Thomas scored 17 points apiece to lead the Bearcats with Cobb adding 16 points. Coreontae DeBerry was the other Bearcat to score double-digit points with 11. Clark added five rebounds, but it was Jacob Evans who led the team with seven rebounds. Troy Caupain took a distributor role in this one, scoring eight points and dishing out a game-high nine assists.
The scoring output shouldn't be terribly surprising considering the opponent, who was 8-12 entering this game, but seeing Clark and Thomas put up their individual point totals is promising. Thomas scored 18 in Cincinnati's last game against Memphis after a slow start to the season, but continued to look more comfortable in this one. Thomas did his damage in only 19 minutes of play.
Cincinnati, as a team, shot 35-of-62 (56.5%) from the field and finally found their three-point shot, hitting 11-of-21 (52.4%) from beyond the arc. If there was one facet of the shooting performance that was disappointing, it was their 16-of-25 (64%) showing from the free throw line. Cincinnati forced Tulane into 19 turnovers - comparing to the Bearcats nine - with 10 of those coming on UC steals.
With the win, Cincinnati moves to 15-6 (5-3) on the season in a game the Bearcats absolutely needed to win. The Bearcats play next on Thursday against Connecticut in a big conference road game.