The showdown in the American Athletic Conference we had all been waiting for did not disappoint on the entertainment side, but it did disappoint on the Beacats side. Despite a raucous crowd and more than a few notable alumni, No. 5 Cincinnati fell shorts in a 76-72 loss to the No. 19 Wichita State Shockers on Sunday.
The loss was the second-straight for the Bearcats (23-4, 12-2 AAC), who also lost a 39-game home winning streak in the process. Jarron Cumberland and Cane Broome both tried to lift UC on their backs, scoring 18 and 16 points, respectively, but it wasn’t enough. Gary Clark and Jacob Evans both had forgettable games (again) and Kyle Washington only played 17 minutes despite scoring the Bearcats’ first four points. Evans did finish with 16 points, but he turned the ball over four times and was too silent when the team needed him to step up.
Wichita State (21-5, 11-3) is now just one game behind UC in the league standings (and so is Houston). Landry Shamet showed why he is one of the best in the game, scoring a game-high 19 points for the Shockers, who were no troubled at all by a decibel destroying BB&T Arena or UC’s vaunted defense. WSU shot 52.9 percent from the floor, including 8-of-18 from three-point range.
UC did put up a valiant effort in the last minute or so, trimming a 72-64 deficit to two points with 12 seconds to play, but it was too little to late for the Bearcats, who desperately need to find their winning ways once again. Their next chance will be on Thursday against UConn. They’ll also get another shot at Wichita State before its all said and done, as they face the Shockers on the road on March 4.