There’s a reason Jacob Evans is leading the Cincinnati Bearcats in scoring. Well, there’s more than one reason. On Thursday night, the junior swingman showed that his ability to create for himself and step up in a big moment are two very important parts of his game.
The Bearcats found themselves tied at 53-53 with 18 seconds to play following three free throws from Temple’s Alani Moore. Then Evans did this.
Let’s take a look from another angle.
BIG GAME JAKE AND THE BEARCATS PULL THE HOUDINI ACT IN PHILLY pic.twitter.com/zBEz2tqYwe— OhVarsity! (@OhVarsity) January 5, 2018
Apparently Evans took all that snow flying around Philly and injected it straight into is veins because that shot was ice cold. It also gave the Bearcats (13-2, 2-0 American Athletic Conference) their sixth-straight win and second in conference play.
Kyle Washington paced UC with 18 points, including a go-ahead three-pointer with roughly two minutes left to play. If UC had done better at the free throw line down the stretch — or in the game as a whole (12-of-20) — then that would be the shot we’d be talking about right now. Instead it was Evans who was the ultimate hero, shaking off a rather off night for him (6-of-14 from the floor, 0-of-3 from beyond the arc) to finish with 14 points. Gary Clark added 10 points while Jarron Cumberland, who had 15 points last Sunday against Memphis, was held scoreless on 0-of-6 shooting.
While we’ll savor the thrilling finish, the first 39 minutes and 40 seconds were anything but pleasant for the Bearcats, who shot just 39.2 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 16 times.
Temple (7-7, 0-3) lost its fourth-straight game despite a big night from Obi Enechionyia (14 points, eight rebounds).
Some of the struggles for the Bearcats can be chalked up to playing in a tough road arena, but there are still clearly areas that need to be tightened up as the season progresses. The next phase of that progression takes place on Sunday against SMU, a team that will not be so easily vanquished, last-minute heroics or not.