This was a tough way to end the regular season.
The Cincinnati Bearcats men’s basketball team traded body blows for 20 minutes with the much heralded (and deservedly so) Houston Cougars.
Cincinnati led for most of the first half but headed back to their home locker rooms at Fifth Third Arena with a 2 point deficit, down 37-35. Considering the way that Cincinnati shot the ball in the first half (10 for 28) and rebounded in the first half (Houston won the boards 20-15), the Bearcats had plenty of reasons for optimism when they return to the court for the last 20 minutes of action.
Such optimism proved unfounded. Houston dominated the game’s last 20 minutes, turning a hotly contested game into a highlight on their already impressive resume.
Houston nailed 8 of 14 three-pointers in the second half, pounded the Bearcats on the boards, and turned this one into a laugher.
Houston lowpostmaster Nate Hinton pushed the Bearcats around, pumping in 16 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Cougars superstar Corey Davis Jr. posted a game-high 31 points en route to victory.
Jarron Cumberland led the way for Cincinnati with 20 points on 4 of 11 shooting. Bearcats bigman Nysier Brooks had, by far, the club’s most efficient day on offense, scoring 16 points on 6 of 8 shooting, though he was held to just 23 minutes of action due to foul trouble.
Cincinnati returns to action next Friday in the AAC Tournament Quarterfinals. Check back with Down the Drive for full coverage of the Bearcats’ postseason push.