Despite their worst offensive showing of the season, the Cincinnati Bearcats scratched out a 52-49 victory over the SMU Mustangs on Wednesday night at Moody Coliseum.
The icy grip of a cold shooting night held the Bearcats (24-4, 13-2 American Athletic Conference) from start to finish, but they played well enough defensively and scored enough in the final 20 minutes to escape with their fourth-straight victory.
Jarron Cumberland scored 12 points as the only Bearcat to finish in double figures, but he made just 4-of-13 shots from the field, including an 0-for-4 showing from beyond the arc.
Cumberland wasn’t alone in struggling to find the bottom of the net. The Bearcats made just 26.6 percent of their field goal tries and 19 percent from three (4-for-21). They were only able to collect a win by dominating the glass (43-33), especially on the offensive end (15-7), while limiting the Mustangs to just 35.1 percent shooting and a 29.2 percent effort from beyond the arc.
The Bearcats may have done enough defensively overall, but they didn’t have much of an answer for Jahmal McMurray, who poured in 27 points for the Mustangs (13-14, 5-10). However, McMurray didn’t get enough support, with only four other players scoring at all.
Next up for the Bearcats is a home game against the Memphis Tigers before they close the regular season with bouts against UCF and Houston.