The game the Cincinnati Bearcats played tonight will be remembered for a number of reasons. It will be remembered as the Kyle Washington game. It will be remembered as a heart-stopping comeback. It will be remembered as a game in which Jacob Evans went from ice cold to scorching hot. No matter how you would like to characterize it, the No. 8 Bearcats defeated the Houston Cougars 80-70 at BB&T Arena, and boy was it a game.
Houston came out and punched UC right in the face. Rolling out to a 33-15 lead in the first half, it looked like the Bearcats were in for a rude awakening.
Then things started to shift. The Bearcats slowly clawed their way back into contention, ending the first half on a 17-3 run to enter halftime with a manageable 40-37 deficit. The biggest shot of the half may have been its last. Evans, who went 1-for-8 to start, calmly banked in a buzzer beater to give UC a ton of momentum going into the break.
Houston didn’t have a plan for when UC hit back, as the Bearcats shot 50 percent from the field in the second half to claim the 10-point victory. Just about everyone got involved in the frame, but Washington and Evans did the most. Washington scored 14 of his game-high 19 points in the final 20 minutes, nailing shots from everywhere on the floor. Evans also was incredible, drilling shots, smashing dunks, grabbing boards, dropping dimes and snagging some loose balls. He finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals while playing all 40 minutes.
For Gary Clark, four fouls kept him from affecting the game as much as you’d exp— hold on. He still had 14 points and 10 rebounds?! You just can’t keep Clark down. Ever. Additional credit needs to go out to Nysier Brooks, who carried the offense a bit in the first few minutes, and Jarron Cumberland, who tallied 15 points and made 7-of-10 shots from the free-throw line. Plus Justin Jenifer made a big shot and had some nifty assists. Oh and Trevon Scott had four rebounds to help UC to a 39-32 edge. Really everyone deserves credit.
As for the Cougars (16-5, 6-3), a tip of the cap goes out to them. They had the Bearcats on the ropes and that was even with AAC leading scorer Rob Gray held to nine points on 4-of-15 shooting. Big games from Corey Davis Jr. (18 points, six rebounds, four assists) and Devin Davis (15 points, nine rebounds) kept the Cougars afloat.
We’ll get into more of the nitty gritty of this one in tomorrow’s box score deep dive, but for now let’s enjoy the Bearcats’ 13th-straight win and 38th-straight victory at home.