By Ryan Roberts
Coming off a 72-59 loss to the Houston Cougars, Head Coach Wes Miller said he wanted to see his team show more consistency with doing the right things. The Bearcats took on East Carolina at Fifth Third Arena on Wednesday night looking to get back on track with an AAC conference win.
Landers Nolley got the scoring started with back to back 3's on his first two shots as the Bearcats raced out to an early 8-2 lead. That hot start wouldn't last long, as ECU responded with a 6-0 run while CIncinnati managed to make just one of their next ten shots which allowed East Carolina to tie the game at 8 with 14:40 left in the first half. Fortunately for the Bearcats, East Carolina was ice cold as well after the early run, going over two minutes without a basket.
Jeremiah Davenport came off the bench in the Wichita State game and responded with one of his best games of the season. It was deja vu in the East Carolina game as he hit his first two three point attempts off the bench to give Cincinnati a 16-10 lead. Josh Reed would add to the three party with corner 3's on consecutive possessions to give Cincinnati a 22-12 lead at the 10 minute mark of the first half.
For the half, Davenport finished with 12 points on 4 of 7 shooting from beyond the arc to lead all scorers as Cincinnati took a 38-25 lead in to the locker room. The Bearcats were 10 of 14 from 3 for a blistering 71% at the half, while East Carolina was 1 for 10. Despite the hot shooting from beyond the arc, UC still finished the half without a field goal over the final 3:17.
The second half started the same way as the first half....a Cincinnati three. Mika Adams- Woods drained a 3 from the wing to get the scoring started and by the under 16 media timeout the Bearcats had a 20 point lead, 47-27. A 1 for 6 start to the second half and scoring drought by East Carolina that spanned 2:47 also contributed to the Bearcats extending the lead.
Back to back baskets by Dan Skillings and a corner 3 by Landers Nolley out of the under 16 media timeout would extend the Cincinnati lead to 27. Javon Small responded by scoring 6 straight for East Carolina, including a 4 point play, to cut the UC lead to 65-46 with 7:30 left. Small would hit another 3 out of the under 8 media timeout to cut the Bearcats lead to 66-49. Small finished the game with a game high 23 points, with 17 of those coming in the second half. A minor foot injury ended his night with 4:40 remaining.
UC closed the game on a 13-2 run as Landers Nolley scored 11 of his team high 20 points in the final 5 minutes to go along with 10 rebounds and Cincinnati improved to 12-6 (3-2 AAC) with an 83-55 win over East Carolina. Jeremiah Davenport (16 points) and David Dejulius (11 points, 12 assists) also finished in double figures in the win.
- Cincinnati out-rebounded East Carolina 46-29 and limited the opposition to just 6 offensive rebounds.
- The Bearcats finished 14-26 from beyond the arc, compared to East Carolina's 4-19 finish.
- 20 assists on 31 made baskets for UC
- UC outscored East Carolina 33-5 off the bench
Up Next for UC is a road trip to Dallas Saturday at 4 pm to take on SMU.