In their final non-conference game of the 2018-19 season, the Cincinnati Bearcats secured an easy 77-56 victory over the South Carolina State Bulldogs at Fifth Third Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The Bearcats (11-2) have won back-to-back games since falling on the road to No. 17 Mississippi State last Saturday. They were paced by 17 points and eight rebounds from Nysier Brooks today, as a large chunk of the roster got a chance to take the floor. Trevor Moore scored 10 points off the bench and was one of six players to record at least two made field goals in the game. Jarron Cumberland, who leads the Bearcats in scoring this season, finished with 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting (all from three) while playing a relatively light 25 minutes. Justin Jenifer tacked on 11 points and five assists, while Keith Williams had a very limited workload, accumulating one point and a rebound to match in 10 minutes.
Despite the easy victory, the Bearcats didn’t play their best game of the season from start to finish. After storming into halftime with a 35-16 lead, they hit cruise control in the final 20 minutes. They only shot 41.3 percent from the floor overall, including a forgettable 9-of-30 showing from three-point range. That latter performance paled in comparison to what they did against UCLA this past Wednesday.
They made up for their own offensive shortcomings by holding the Bulldogs to 34.6 percent shooting, including only five made field goals in the first half. In addition, they owned a massive 46-28 advantage in rebounds and outscored the Bulldogs 34-18 in the paint and 21-2 in second chance points.
After a largely successful non-conference slate, the Bearcats will enter the fray of American Athletic Conference competition, although they’ll have to wait until Jan. 2 to get going. Their opponent on that day will be the Tulane Green Wave at Fifth Third Arena.