The #24 Cincinnati Bearcats was able to pull out a hard fought victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the semifinals of the Barclays Center Classic.
The first half was a defensive struggle as both teams only scored 25 points apiece. With Nebraska’s forward picking up 2 quick fouls it seemed the Bearcats were going to be able to take advantage, but it was Nebraska who seemed like they were going to be able to put pressure on the Cincinnati. A big first half by Tai Webster who has 12 of his game high 21 points was able to keep the Huskers afloat. Big 3-point shots by Troy Caupain and Kevin Johnson before half time was able to keep the Bearcats in a game that looked like they could be down double digits at the half.
Troy Caupain had 8 points and Shaquille Thomas had 6 points in the first half. The play of these two was major in keeping UC in the game.
In the second the Bearcats made a more conscience effort to feed the post which paid big dividends as Octavius Ellis woke up and had a solid half, Coreontae DeBerry and Gary Clark both made good plays on the boards and on offense. Troy Caupain and Shaq Thomas played the second half just like the first as they finished with 17 and 14 points respectively. They were able to get Shavon Shields to foul out late in the second half and without him on the court the Huskers weren’t as dangerous.
The Bearcats didn’t shoot great from the floor as they only made 38.9% from the floor, 41.2% from 3-point line and 66.7% from the free throw line, but they were able to out rebound the Huskers 39-29 which was a major advantage. 65-61 was the final score.
This game was the tough game Bearcat Nation has been waiting for and now they are in the finals of the Barclays Center Classic waiting on the winner of the Tennessee/George Washington. They will play at 2:30 Saturday on ESPN 3 or Star 64.