Cincinnati (17-2, 7-0 American) won their 10th straight game with a 78-61 victory over Tulane (4-15, 1-6 American) on Saturday. Quadri Moore scored a career-high 14 points - including three made three-pointers - and provided a much needed boost off the bench while several starters sat out with foul trouble.
Jacob Evans and Kyle Washington were the most impacted by the referee’s loose whistles, with Washington fouling out and Evans getting charged with four fouls. Evans was able to rebound in the second half, leading the Bearcats with a team-high 15 points in the game, but Washington was a total non-factor. Washington played only nine minutes and scored just four points with one rebound on 2-3 shooting; making this easily his least effective game with Cincinnati.
The Bearcats jumped out to a 13-4 lead to start the game, but Tulane used an 8-0 run to close the gap to 13-12 with 12:05 remaining. That’s when Quadri Moore got a hot hand and helped give the Bearcats separation. Moore scored 11 points over a five minute stretch to push Cincinnati’s lead to 31-16. Tulane would never recover.
The second half turned out to be the Jacob Evans show. Evans, a sophomore from Baton Rouge, had a large block of fans at the game to watch him score 12 second half points He scored in a variety of ways, including this sweet cut to the basket and strong finish.
The Bearcats eventually pushed the lead up to 22 points, but Tulane, a crew of whistle-happy referees, and 18 Cincinnati turnovers prevented a total blowout. It wasn’t one of the Bearcats best nights, but they went on the road in conference play and secured a double-digit victory. It’s tough to ask for more than that.
Gary Clark had a quiet game by his standards, but put a nice bow on this one with an electric block late in the second half.
Moore’s big game is made even more impressive because of how badly they needed him to step up given the subpar performances from Clark and Washington. It’s safe to say almost nobody saw this coming from him. In fact, he’s been the focus of scorn nearly every time he steps on the floor. Here’s a look at some of his Twitter mentions before tonight’s game.
I have no idea why Quadri Moore even gets a single second of PT. #Bearcats it's almost laughable ..,— David (@dowens34) January 15, 2017
I would 100% rather have Tobler go in instead of Quadri Moore.— Trenton (@gossmata58) January 13, 2017
Quadri Moore is not good at basketball— Austin Kaiser (@AustinKaiserOH) January 13, 2017
Quadri Moore still sucks if you were wondering.— Sam (@BROssell12) December 29, 2016
The look of terror on Quadri Moore's face whenever he gets the ball is hard to replicate.— Will Hughes (@w_c_hughes) December 14, 2016
Needless to say, Bearcats fans have not been happy with Moore all season long. Saturday’s explosion was much needed for the player and the team, and shows exactly how much depth Cincinnati has this year — even Quadri Moore can beat you on the right night.
The Crosstown Shootout is up next for the Bearcats. Cincinnati will enter it on a ten-game winning streak while Xavier has been reeling a bit of late. If history has taught us anything, it’s that you should dismiss all logic and reason when trying to figure out a Xavier/Cincinnati basketball game — literally anything can happen.