The Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout was a game filled with some exciting basketball. Fifth Third Arena was full of energy from tip off until the final buzzer and it makes perfect sense because it was 13.477 in attendance.
In the first half the Bearcats played well, but missed free throws and Trevon Bluiett weren't making it easy on the boys from Clifton. Bluiett had 26 points at the half on 8 of 8 from the field, 6 of 6 from three and 4 of 4 from the line, 2 rebounds and 1 steal. He made a three at the buzzer to put Xavier up 44-36 after Troy Caupain split two free throws. As a whole the Bearcats shot 7 of 16 from the free throw line which contributed to them being down at the half. J.P. Macura and Edmond Sumner both had 2 fouls. Xavier shot 53.8% from the field, 66.7% from three and Cincinnati shot 48.1% from the field, 33.3% from three. Gary Clark balled out in the first half with 11 points on 5 of 7 from the field, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. Clark was very aggressive without playing outside of himself and along with Jacob Evans kept the Bearcats within striking distance. Evans had 9 points in the first half.
In the second half it seemed like it would be more Bluiett after he hit a three and Sumner got a dunk, but the Bearcats as a whole just played quality ball minus the missed free throws. Jarron Cumberland scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half hitting countless big shots whether it is an open three or forcing the issue by going to the hole, his energy was important. Kyle Washington had 9 of his 12 points in the second half, he didn't allow his 4 of 14 shooting from the foul line stop him from grabbing 8 rebounds and getting 4 blocks. Evans finished with 21 points (12 points coming in the second half), 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Evans scored from everywhere on the floor and you can see the growth in his game. Caupain made the shoot of the game as he pulled up on Sumner to ice the game with .59 seconds to put Cincinnati up 84-77. Caupain had 16 points, 3 rebound and 5 assists. The seniors got their first win versus Xavier and to be frank they were excited after pulling off the 86-78 victory.
Three key stats:
UC outrebounded X 42-33
UC had 30 second chance points to X's 4
UC had 8 turnovers
Cincinnati moves to 18-2 and face USF on Sunday at 4 pm