The Cincinnati Bearcats welcomed the Morgan State Bears into Fifth Third Arena on an unseasonably warm Sunday in Cincinnati to see if they could get back on a winning foot before the famed Crosstown Shootout.
The first half was all Bearcats all the time as they imposed their will from the jump ball. As a whole they shot 52.5% from the field while holding the Bears to 30.3% from the field. The hot shooting allowed the Bearcats to take a 51-27 lead into halftime.
The boys from Clifton had balanced scoring as everybody from the starting lineup scored within the first five minutes of the game. Gary Clark led the way with 9 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Clark shot 3 of 4 from the field, 1 of 2 from three and 2 of 3 from the free throw line to be honest he filled up the stat sheet early for the Bearcats. Coreontae DeBerry also had 9 points, Farad Cobb and Octavius Ellis chipped in with 8 points apiece.
In the second half the Bearcats were sleep at the wheel as the Bears won the final twenty minutes 39-36. While the Bearcats won the game handedly 87-66, but there was a lot to be desired with their overall performance.
The Bears had 15 offensive rebounds, which is something that coach Cronin is cringing about before they head over to Xavier Saturday. They also allowed the visitors to shoot 47.1% from the field in the second half which is something we aren’t use to as coverers of the Bearcats.
The Bearcats had six players score in double digits led by Shaquille Thomas who had 15 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks. Gary Clark also finished with 13 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks.
The one thing Bearcats and their fans should be worrying about is how bad freshman Jacob Evans ankle sprain is as he sprained it in the first half he limped off the court and came back to the bench a few minutes later, but didn’t play the rest of the game. Evans will be an important piece on Saturday against Xavier.