CINCINNATI – For a short amount of time on Wednesday evening, it looked like Tulane could play a competitive basketball game with Cincinnati. Unfortunately for the Green Wave, that time came in bunches that were few and far between.
The Bearcats honored John Meeker and Jamaal Lucas with starts alongside seniors Nick Williams and Jason Maxiell as Cincinnati played its final home game of the 2004-2005 season, with a 77-56 victory over Tulane.
Although Meeker and Williams played just six and three minutes respectively, each was honored on Senior Night at Fifth Third Arena with getting to start the game, just as Lucas and Maxiell did.
Although Maxiell turned in his usual workman's effort with 18 points, it was Jihad Muhammad who stole the Senior Night show.
Muhammad score a season-high 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field, including 6-of-9 from behind the arc. For good measure, he had four assists and just one turnover.
Cincinnati jumped out with quick leads of 10-0 and 17-4 before Tulane scratched their way back to within six points a couple of times in the first half.
The Bearcats took a 32-22 lead into the locker room at halftime,
To start the second half, Cincinnati maintained a double-digit lead for the first few minutes, but Tulane used a 3-pointer with 15:14 left in the game by Marcus Kinzer to get Tulane back to within six points, 41-35.
That was as close as Tulane ever got, however, as Cincinnati eventually stretched their lead to as many as 23 points before winning by the final 21-point margin.
Fifteen of Muhammad's 24 points came in the second half. Tulane was led in scoring by Taylor Rochestie, with a team-high 14 points.
Cincinnati will end the regular season on the road against Memphis on Saturday. The game begins at 4:00 PM, ET. If the Bearcats win, they will clinch a first round bye in the Conference USA tournament.