The Bearcats (25-4, 14-2 American Athletic Conference) nearly let the game get away from them by splitting four free throws in the final 20 seconds, but a forced turnover on Memphis’ last possession sealed the win. Thanks to UCF’s upset of Houston earlier in the day, the Bearcats are now even with the Cougars for first place in the conference standings.
Cumberland made 6-of-12 shots from the floor and 13-of-16 from the free throw line to pace the Bearcats, who have won five-straight games. Nysier Brooks posted a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds while Keith Williams tallied 10 points.
The Bearcats only shot 38.6 percent as a team and were doubled up on points from beyond the arc (24-12), but they had a 23-7 scoring edge at the foul line and a 38-31 edge in rebounds.
Jeremiah Martin paced Memphis (18-12, 10-7) with a game-high 28 points and Isaiah Maurice scored 14 to go with seven rebounds.
The Bearcats will now venture out on their biggest two-game stretch of the season, as they will visit UCF on Thursday and then host Houston in the regular season finale next Sunday.