It wasn’t pretty. It still counts as a win.
A road win at that. UC’s first of the season.
The Cincinnati Bearcats men’s basketball team improved to 7-1 this evening, hanging on for a 65-61 victory against a resilient UNLV Runnin’ Rebels team that counterpunched with ferocity for forty minutes.
Cincinnati held a 33-24 advantage at the half, building that solid lead on the back of a strong 20 minutes of shooting. Cincinnati hit 14 of its 26 shots for a .539 mark in the first half.
The home Rebels, playing in front of a large and loud home crowd at the famed Thomas and Mack Center, dug in their heels and made this a game in the second half. UNLV played physically, out-rebounding Cincinnati 37-31 for the night and frequently outhustling the Bearcats, particularly in a second half that featured many poor shooting decisions by UC and a number of costly turnovers. Cincinnati shot barely better than 40 percent in a second half that was dominated for large stretches by the Runnin’ Rebels.
Cincinnati maintained the lead throughout the game, but UNLV never waned in its attack. UNLV’s backcourt was particularly mischievous this evening. Senior guard Kris Clyburn was a particularly tough nut, a big, physical pointman who posted 12 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. Shooting guard Amauri Hardy netted 22 points in 25 minutes of action for UNLV, scoring largely from the perimeter.
Sophomore guard Keith Williams led the way for Cincinnati with 15 points and 8 rebounds while Cane Broome added 14 points. Mick Cronin went 10 deep on the Bearcats bench, using enough guys to overcome a top-notch effort by the home club.
Cincinnati returns to the friendly confines of Fifth Third Arena on Tuesday night for a 7 PM matchup with Northern Kentucky. Check back with Down the Drive for full coverage of the contest.