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Box Score Deep Dive: Depth, Defense and a Drubbing at Devlin Fieldhouse

What trap game?

NCAA Basketball: Cincinnati at Tulane Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

If this last night’s matchup with the Tulane Green Wave was supposed to be a trap game, then the No. 10 Cincinnati Bearcats obviously rolled a natural 20 in detect traps. If that reference is lost on you, then let’s just say that the Bearcats were easily able to avoid whatever obstacles the Green Wave constructed.

Before we head into the depths of this blowout, we need to talk about Jacob Evans. The junior swingman came out firing on all cylinders in a homecoming of sorts. The Baton Rouge native hit three triples and scored 11 points in 11 first half minutes before exiting with an injury. Luckily, it doesn’t appear to be a serious issue, as Mick Cronin explained in his post-game comments, noting that he saved Evans since the Bearcats have “bigger fish to fry” in March.

Thanks to Evans, the Bearcats were pretty much ready to leave at halftime, as they led 39-20 thanks to some incredible defensive work. The Green Wave managed only seven field half field goals, while shooting 25.1 percent overall. They also failed to make a single three-pointer. The first half was not the only time the defense of UC showed up, as Tulane was limited to 31.4 percent shooting overall and an offensive rating of 74.2. Cronin mentioned that he was particularly impressed with the play of Keith Williams, who only scored six points but blocked two shots and recorded a defensive rating of 81.

Williams and the rest of his fellow reserves helped UC flex its depth in front of a shallower Green Wave roster. The Bearcats’ reserves outscored those of Tulane 35-14. Cane Broome was at the forefront, scoring 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting as he continued his recent hot streak. In the last four games, Broome has averaged 14.3 points per game while shooting .710/.636/.857.

But Broome had to share the sixth man spotlight with Trevon Scott, who got more involved than usual on offense, with a usage percentage of 28.9. With more opportunities, Scott scored 10 points, marking his first double-digit effort of the year and fourth of his career.

It wasn’t just Evans and the bench that carried the night. Kyle Washington paced the team with a game-high 16 points as well as seven rebounds. Gary Clark was subdued offensively, but he ripped down nine boards and Scott had six of his own as UC destroyed Tulane on the glass (41-26). Sixteen of those rebounds were on the offensive end, which aided UC as it scored 24 second chance points. Tulane, which had only eight, was already having enough trouble scoring without constantly feeling the letdown of giving the Bearcats extra scoring opportunities. As you might expect, with all those rebounds and Washington and Scott scoring well, the Bearcats had a big edge on points in the paint as well (36-18).

Now that this game is in the rear view, the Bearcats can start looking toward those bigger fish Cronin talked about. That starts on Sunday at Wichita State. Let’s go.

Best Individual Stat Line

Scott’s work on the glass and defense narrowly edges out Broome’s shooting efficiency in this one. The sophomore had the 10 points of course, but his six rebounds in 17 minutes gave him a total rebounding percentage of 24.3. He also posted the best defensive rating (72) of any Bearcat.