Nick Falzerano

The Bearcats suffer another tough defeat this time at the half the Golden Hurricane in OT 70-68

Cincinnati headed down to Tulsa on a two game winning streak and on the inside of the NCAA tournament bubble would they be able to handle business on the road? Would Tulsa be able to avenge their loss early in the conference play? Is the UConn game a must win now?

Coming into the game all was well for the Bearcats winning their last two games and facing a team they handled pretty easy in early January. UConn was on their way to beat SMU so if UC should take care of business against Tulsa they would be sitting pretty.

In the first half it seemed that UC was on a mission to take one on the road as Gary Clark played like a man possessed going for 13 points and 5 rebounds in the first half. UC was up 32-24 in the winding seconds with an opportunity to hold for the last shot and guard Kevin Johnson shot a three with too much time on the clock and missed doesn’t seem too bad right, but Tulsa guard James Woodard hit a three quarter court three to get the game within 5. UC went into the half up 32-27, but if it wasn’t for that three by Woodard it seemed as if UC had total control of the game.

Jacob Evans had 8 points and Octavius Ellis had 5 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks.

UC shot 41.4% from the field and Tulsa to 32.3% from the field, but the three by Woodard would prove as a huge difference maker.

In the second half Tulsa came out on a 6-0 run to take the lead from Cincinnati and it was a back and forth battle for the rest of the half no team was able to pull away from each other, but for UC there were a few key plays that came back to bite them in the backside. Five plays that stick out to me, Troy Caupain not completing a three point play opportunity, Ellis not completing a three point play opportunity, Ellis missing two free throws and Ellis not dunking a put back opportunity and Ellis missing a layup that he should’ve tried to dunk. With all of these missed opportunities UC still found themselves with a shot to win as Caupain finished a lay up to tie the game at 62.

In overtime Tulsa made more plays than UC as the in the final minute Caupain set up a great look from three for Evans, but Evans missed. Down 3, Caupain got fouled on a play where it looked like he got a shot up from three to hopefully give himself three free throws the official only gave him two and split as he missed the second one on purpose, but didn’t hit any rim so they were down 2 and Tulsa had to take the ball out. UC was able to get a big steal, but Shaq Thomas missed a three at the buzzer and UC loss 70-68.

Clark finished with 18 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Caupain scored all of his 15 points in the second half and overtime also had 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Ellis had 11 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks.

Woodard was the star for Tulsa with 19 points and 9 rebounds.

UC falls to 19-8 overall and 9-5 in conference.

They play UConn on Saturday at 4 pm at home on ESPN 2 can you say must win?

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