Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bearcats show faster tempo against Western Carolina Catamounts to a 97-72 win

The Cincinnati Bearcats have season opener against Western Carolina Catamounts at Fifth Third Arena Friday evening. This game marked the return over head coach Mick Cronin.

This game marked the regular season return of Mick Cronin who was out since Mid-December due to health reasons. UC welcomed Western Carolina in to Fifth Third Arena and it wasn’t a warm welcome for the Catamounts.

 The home team jumped out on the early and often sharing the ball at a good pace. The first half was all Bearcats all the time as they went up 42-22 during the twenty minutes of play. The leading scorer and rebounder was sophomore forward Gary Clark who had 10 points and 5 rebounds on 4 of 4 from the field and 2 of 2 from the line. Senior center Octavius Ellis was right behind Clark with 7 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 block on 3 of 4 from the field and 1 of 1 from the line. The star guard was senior Farad Cobb who had 9 points on 3 of 5 shooting from the field 3 of 3 from three and two assists.

UC shot 61.5% from the field, 62.5% from three and 71.4% from the foul line. The only bad line in the first half is they had 9 turnovers to go with their 11 assists.

The second half was technically 55-50, but at the end the Bearcats won 97-72. This was the game of the big men as Ellis, DeBerry and Clark all did work in the second half against the Catamounts. Ellis had 10 points and 7 rebounds in the second half to finish with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Coreontae DeBerry had 8 points and 2 rebounds in the second half and finished with 12 points and 4 rebounds.  Gary Clark was the star of the night as he showed off his new face up jumper as he had 11 points and 3 rebounds in the second half and finished with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 assists.

UC shot 60.6% from the field, 16.7% from three and 70% from the foul line in the second half. They cooled down from three and also matched assists and turnovers (8 and 8), but besides that didn’t much go wrong for the Bearcats.

The Catamounts were without starting guard Rhett Harrelson, but in a loss guard Mike Brown held it down with 23 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks.

 This team is very explosive something you haven’t been able to say about Bearcats teams in a while.

Robert Morris is next at Fifth Third Arena on Sunday at 2 pm.

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