It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t always pretty. But the Cincinnati Bearcats’ men’s basketball team found a way to outlast a fiery and fiesty UConn Huskies team (10-7 overall, 1-3 AAC).
Jarron Cumberland, who went 11 of 12 from the line, led the way offensively for Cincinnati with 22 points. The win improved Cincinnati’s overall mark to 14-3 and their record in the American to 3-1.
Cincinnati held a 33-32 halftime advantage, shooting nearly .450 from the field. UConn hung in the game through the first twenty minutes on the strength of their outside shooting. Connecticut hit 5 three-pointers in the first half, including a pair by senior guard Christian Vital, who posted 16 points for the evening.
The Huskies’ diverse, perimeter-oriented offensive attack kept Cincinnati off balance all evening. Sophomore guard Alterique Gilbert led the Huskies in scoring with 18 points while senior guard Jalen Adams added 16.
Cincinnati’s advantage in the low-post. Junior center Nysier Brooks battled a cadre of UConn defenders in the paint, fighting his way to 17 points and a team-high 6 rebounds. UConn outrebounded Cincinnati for the evening (38-30) but Brooks kept an often low-energy, still flu-weakened Bearcats team competitive around the rim.
The Bearcats led by as many as 9 in the second half. With just under 12 minutes remaining, Cincinnati held a 46-37 advantage. UConn would not quit though. The triumverate of Gilbert, Adams, and Vital kept UConn in this game until the waning seconds of overtime, when the Huskies failed to convert a last-second attempt to send their game to a second extra period.
Cincinnati stays home for their next contest, a Tuesday evening clash at Fifth Third Arena with USF which will be carried on ESPNEWS. Click your way back to Down the Drive for full coverage of Cincinnati’s AAC tilt with the Bulls.