The 20th ranked Cincinnati Bearcats fell to 25-5 this evening and 14-3 in the American Conference this evening, dropping a 58-55 decision. Cincinnati nearly found a way to win against an impressive, increasingly heralded UCF club, who improved to 23-6 overall and 13-4 in the American, proving themselves worthy of their national ranking.
The loss dropped Cincinnati to second in the American behind Houston and moved UCF into third place in the league.
Cincinnati fell down early and proved unable to ever get into an offensive rhythm. UCF, who hardly shot the lights out of the arena themselves, held a 29-21 lead at the half. A vibrant home crowd in Orlando jazzed up the Knights all evening.
The Bearcats battled back, showing their typical opportunism down the stretch, hung in the game, keeping things close enough to make the game interesting in the final minutes.
Bearcats guard Cane Broome missed a last-second three point, which would have tied the game at 58.
Cincinnati shot the ball poorly all evening, hitting just 37 percent of their attempts from the field and going 3 for 6 from the line. The Bearcats were beaten on the boards 40-33.
Tre Scott was the primary bright spot on offense for the Bearcats. He led the way for Cincinnati with 20 points on 9 of 15 shooting.
American Conference player of the year candidate B.J. Taylor led UCF with 22 points.
Cincinnati returns home for a Sunday tilt with conference leader Houston. The home finale will decide the number one seed in next week’s AAC Tournament in Memphis, Tennessee. Check back with Down the Drive for full coverage of the game.