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Cincinnati Goes Down Early, Never Recovers in 89-76 Loss to Xavier

This was not the best Crosstown Shootout from a Bearcats perspective.

Cincinnati v Xavier Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

A terribly slow start doomed the No. 11 Cincinnati Bearcats against the rival Xavier Musketeers at the Cintas Center on Saturday. Falling behind 11-2 in the first four and a half minutes, the Bearcats never really got back in it, losing 89-76 in the Crosstown Shootout.

The Bearcats (7-1), who trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half, shot just 40 percent from the floor and got only eight points from players not named Gary Clark and Cane Broome in those first 20 minutes. Clark finished with 14 points and seven rebounds overall, producing 10 of those points before intermission. Broome had a team-high 12 points at the break and finished with 16.

Jacob Evans tallied 23 points, but he scored 18 of those in the second half. Meanwhile, Jarron Cumberland and Kyle Washington teamed up to contribute all of one point in the first half.

On the other side, Xavier shot 57.1 percent from the field in the first period, riding the enthusiasm of its home crowd to nail 7-of-11 three-pointers in that time as well. Overall, the Musketeers shot 47.4 percent, while being paced by 28 points from Trevon Bluiett. They also crushed UC on the boards, a surprising turn of events considering the Bearcats’ had been a top level rebounding team entering play. In all, Xavier had a 45-27 edge in rebounds and a 19-5 scoring advantage in second chance points.

The loss was the first of the season for the Bearcats and fourth in the last five meetings with the Musketeers, who improved to 7-1 on the year.