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Old 02-07-2018, 02:50 AM
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Default (6) Cincinnati 77 Central Florida 40
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. On the surface, the University of Cincinnati's 77-40 shellacking of Central Florida on Tuesday appeared to be just one more blowout in a season filled with them, especially at home.

But this game was far from routine.

Jacob Evans III, UC's leading scorer with an average of 14.1 points, scored only three points, breaking a string of 10 straight double-figure scoring games. Gary Clark, the Bearcats' second-leading scorer, was shut out in the first half, although he came on strong at the start of the second half and finished with 12 points.

But even with Evans and Clark combining for a measly three points in the first half, the Bearcats still held an overwhelming 33-13 lead at intermission before 8,673 fans at BB&T Arena on the way to their 39th straight home victory, the longest home winning streak in the country.

"Whenever you can win by 37 and Jacob Evans only gets three points it shows you the depth of your team and how much different guys can help you to make plays," said UC coach Mick Cronin.

UC (22-2 overall, 11-0 in the American Athletic Conference) has won its 15th straight game overall. UCF (14-9, 5-6) played the second half without guard B.J. Taylor, a pre-season all-conference selection, who averages 15 points. Taylor left the game with 3:33 left in the first half after twisting his right ankle.

With Evans and Clark not scoring up to their usual standard in the first half, junior point guard Justin Jenifer scored nine points and freshman guard Trevor Moore came off the bench to score eight to help pick up the slack.

Moore finished with a career-high 14 points to lead UC. Kyle Washington scored 13 in 17 minutes. Clark added 12, all in the second half, and Jenifer finished with 11. Jarron Cumberland, who also failed to score in the first half, contributed nine points with six rebounds and four assists.

Jenifer's scoring was a welcome addition to the UC attack. He had gone four games without scoring before he produced three points against Houston and five at Connecticut, as he recovered from an injured thumb on his shooting hand.

"I'm not really going to make an excuse because of my injury," Jenifer said. "I had to get back in the gym to get my mechanics right. I wasn't being prepared to shoot the ball. I think tonight I showed a little bit of that, but I have a lot more work to do. I think I jammed my thumb one day and it just swelled up. I'm fine though."

Moore's career high was one more step in his development as his freshman year continues to unfold.

"It's just being confident," Moore said. "In the beginning of the season I was kind of iffy, but as the season got going I started getting more comfortable. I have good teammates, so they make me more comfortable in practice and it carries over to the game. It's just being ready at all times."

There was one typical aspect in UC's victory. The defense, which ranks second nationally allowing 56.8 points per game, was outstanding again. The Bearcats held UCF to 13 points in the first half, limiting the Knights to five field goals in 26 shots. It was the sixth time this season that UC has held an opponent to fewer than 20 points in the first half.

Playing without 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall, who's out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery, UCF shot 28.6 percent for the game. In two games against UC this season, the Knights have averaged 39 points. They were 0-for-14 from long range, while the Bearcats went 10-for-32.

"We weren't happy with our defensive effort against UConn," Cronin said. "We gave up too many layups. Our rotations were late and they were soft. We were rotating once and that was late. We worked hard on it Monday in practice and talked a lot about it. The kids did a great job of cutting off driving lanes and then we rotated back out. We were making three or four rotations in a possession so it was a great night for us. It was a tough night for them without making a three-point shot."

The Knights scored the first basket of the game on a jump shot by A.J. Davis. They wouldn't score again until Davis made two free throws with 6:56 left in the half. By then, the Bearcats had an 18-4 lead and UCF had missed 15 straight field goal attempts.

UC out-rebounded UCF, 48-31, with 17 offensive rebounds and outscored the Knights, 22-2, off turnovers. The Bearcats' biggest lead was 40 with 3:10 left.

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Old 02-07-2018, 09:33 AM
E's Army E's Army is offline
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Bearcats are rolling.
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Old 02-07-2018, 03:51 PM
sstack sstack is offline
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UC is in such a bad conference that I am not sure how good they really are. Are they going to be ready come March Madness to go up against good teams?
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