Cincinnati Bearcats improved to 12-7 and 5-2 in conference play with an impressive 89-82 road victory against Temple.
- Temple shot approximately 95% from the floor in the first half, refusing to miss. Okay, that’s a lie, but they hit 5-6 threes in the first half, despite being ranked 250th nationally in three point shooting. They shot 53% from the floor and 61% from three.
- Cincinnati is a hard team to beat when the Cumberland cousins score 30+ points - they combined for 37 points.
- Jarron had 22 points and 6 assists and, remarkably, hit 13 of 14 free throws. Most of those FTs came down the stretch as he helped ice the game.
- Jaevin, who recently shot 1-8 from three, hit 4-8 from three. He is an extremely hot and cold shooter, but when he’s hot, there may not be anyone else whose hands you want the ball in.
- In the final 10 minutes, three Cincinnati seniors (Jarron and Jaevin Cumberland and Trevon Scott) scored 23 consecutive points. Leaders lead, and these guys led with their actions.
- Chris Vogt scored double digits for the 16th time in 19 games. He scored 18 points, on 5-5 shooting. He scored only once in the second half, though. that one was a dunk in the final minutes which ended the 23 point streak of the trio mentioned above.
- Trevon Scott recorded his 6th double-double of the season, with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and also had 5 assists.
- In total, five players scored double figures, with Keith Williams, almost quietly, chipping in 10 points
- 89 points is a season-high and the 6th time this season, Cincinnati has scored 80 or more points. 89 is the most points Cincinnati has scored since 1/2/19 when they scored 93 against Tulane (won 93-61).
- Cincinnati has won 6 in a row against Temple and improves to 9-3 in AAC play vs the Owls. 4 of those 6 wins have come on the road.
- Not much action from Zach Harvey, who had his best performance of the year on Sunday against ECU. No Jeremiah Davenport, who didn’t play at all.
- Mamoudou Diarra played 10 minutes and continues to give Cincinnati positive minutes, after some early season struggles. Diarra rebounds and defends well and has been good in limited spurts.
- Winning on the road in college basketball is a big deal, which makes this win a big deal. Cincinnati is now 2-4 in true road games and 4-6 away from home.
We wrote a lot about this game yesterday. This was a huge win, not because it moved the needle or was a signature win or anything, but simply because Cincinnati can now continue to push forward. They are in the midst of a season-defining stretch and games like this, they cannot afford to lose with such a slim (to none) margin of error.
Cincinnati is off this weekend and hosts SMU next Tuesday and hosts Houston on Saturday night. After that, the team plays at Wichita State. The two home games are MUST wins. After that, a win at Wichita will definitely get Cincinnati in the bubble conversation.
Bearcats aren’t near NCAA Tournament discussion yet, but are playing much better and due to their reputation may be able to earn the benefit of the doubt come March, if they can pick up some signature wins along the way and avoid too many more losses, especially the bad kind.
Around the AAC on Wednesday
Tulsa beat Memphis 80-40.
I’m sorry, I wrote this wrong....wait....no I didn’t. Tulsa BEAT Memphis, who came into the game ranked #22 and came into 2019-20 with the #1 recruiting class and legit Final Four expectations, by 40 points. Wow.
Tulsa improved to 5-1 in AAC play. Amazingly, that one loss was a 70-44 defeat at Cincinnati a few weeks ago.
SMU, who Cincinnati plays next, beat ECU by 84-64.
There is a very clear divide between the top half and bottom half of the AAC. 6 teams have 1-2 losses and 6 teams have 4-5 losses. Bearcats are hanging out in the top half behind Tulsa and Houston, who both have 1 loss, and are tied with Memphis, SMU, and Wichita. Convenient that they have games coming up against most of these teams.