It may have taken a game in the Caribbean for the No. 12 Cincinnati Bearcats to get up to speed. Following a sloppy win over the Buffalo Bulls in the first round of the Cayman Islands Classic, the Bearcats roasted the Richmond Spiders 75-48 in the semifinals on Tuesday.
Mick Cronin shook up the starting lineup for the second time this season and the move worked, as UC (5-0) put together an excellent performance from top to bottom. Cane Broome scored 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting as the lead scorer. Jacob Evans added 12 points on 5-of-8 from the floor, and also handed out four of 20 UC assists. No other player scored in double figures, but the Bearcats shot 54.3 percent from the floor and 54.2 percent from three-point range. Helping to keep the offense moving, Gary Clark flirted with a triple-double, producing eight points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
The UC defense was out in force as well, with the Bearcars creating 20 turnovers, which led to 26 points. Richmond (1-3) only scored 10 points off of turnovers and was dominated on the glass (35-22). There were plenty of rebounding chances as well, especially in the first half when the Spiders connected on just 4-of-18 shots from the floor. That rebounding edge also led to a 13-7 advantage in second chance points for the Bearcats.
Now the championship round of this early season tournament awaits. Wyoming will be the opponent in that game as the Bearcats try to settle things on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.