The Cincinnati Bearcats opened the New Year at home welcoming the Tulsa Golden Hurricane to Fifth Third Arena on a nice Saturday afternoon. After being upset by Temple last week, I’m pretty sure the team was eager to get back on the court and today it showed.
The Bearcats started the first 9 minutes of the game on an 18-2 run and didn’t look back. Personally this was the best that the Bearcats have looked defensively all season. They held Tulsa to 22.2% shooting from the field in the first half and if it wasn’t for UC committing 16 fouls and allowing Tulsa to attempt 21 free throws, I’m not sure they crack 20 points in the half. 16 fouls is a lot, but it shows how aggressive the Bearcats were on defense which is a good thing overall. It felt like everybody that played the 3, 4 and 5(small forward, power forward and center positions) at least had 2 fouls before the half.
The Bearcats led at the half 42-28 and the leading scorer was Farad Cobb who had 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting from the field while making 3 of 4 from three. He also had 3 rebounds and 2 steals at the half. The bench had an 18-1 lead at the half led by guard Kevin Johnson with 7 points.
In the second half it was more of the same aggressive Bearcats basketball except in the second half they didn’t get called for as many fouls they went from 16 to 8, which is an improvement. As many fouls as the Bearcats committed nobody fouled out. They held Tulsa to 33.3% shooting from the field for the game. They won the rebounding battle 39-31 also and bench scoring battle 30-7.
Overall the team played great, but the two players who stood out the most were Gary Clark and Farad Cobb. Clark had 7 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 block. Cobb had 21 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.
The Bearcats won 76-57 to secure their first American Athletic Conference win of the season.
UC moves to 11-4 and 1-1 in the conference. They will have to travel to SMU this Thursday for a tough road game.
Note: Forward D’Andre Wright was ejected from the game after being called for a flagrant two foul late in the second half on Gary Clark.