December 11, 2021
CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati men’s basketball team fell to Xavier, 83-63, on Saturday night in the Skyline Crosstown Shootout at the Cintas Center.
The Bearcats dropped to 7-3 on the season and were led by senior guard John Newman III, who finished with a season-high 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Senior guard David DeJulius added 12 points, while junior wing Jeremiah Davenport scored 11.
The Musketeers (9-1) were led by junior forward Jack Nunge, who tallied career-bests in points (31) and rebounds (15) off the bench.
Xavier made 28 of 35 free throws and tallied 56 points off the bench. Cincinnati shot 12-of-17 from the charity stripe and had 20 points from reserves.
The Bearcats were whistled for 27 fouls, while Xavier committed 18.
“It’s unacceptable the way that we play in here tonight,” head coach Wes Miller said. “Again, you can’t take away how well Xavier played, because I think they played tremendous. I’m disappointed. We will come back. This team has a lot of character. We will come back to work. We will try to get back to playing the way we played for the last month or so. We need to use this to become a better team. We need to learn and grow from this.”
Led by Nunge, Xavier held a 41-28 advantage on the boards and shot 46% from the field and 31% from three. Cincinnati shot 37% overall and 32% from three.
Cincinnati trailed at halftime for the first time this season. Nunge and Xavier senior guard Paul Scruggs combined to score 26 points before the break as the Musketeers shot 48% to lead 42-27 at the intermission.
Neither team shot well after halftime as the Bearcats and Musketeers combined to make just one of their first 10 shots.
A Nunge four-point play put Xavier up 50-31 at the 15:14 mark. Cincinnati sophomore guard Mike Saunders’s three-ball cut the score to 53-36, but Nunge responded with a layup to put Xavier back up 55-36, with 12 minutes left.
In the first half, DeJulius scored 10 points. His layup and second-chance three-pointer during a 20-second stretch gave the Bearcats their first points of the game and a 5-3 lead at the 15:42 mark.
Back-to-back buckets from reigning AAC Freshman of the Week Viktor Lahkin put UC in front 11-10 at 12:42, but Xavier took control from there.
A three-pointer by Nate Johnson put Xavier in front 22-13.
A few minutes later, Davenport made a three of his own to bring Cincinnati within 6, 24-18, with just under eight minutes left in the first half. The Musketeers responded with an 11-2 run capped by a turnaround jumper from Scruggs to give Xavier a comfortable 35-20 lead.
– DeJulius reached double figures in scoring for the fifth straight game and the eighth time in 2021-22.
Cincinnati hosts Florida A&M at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Fifth Third Arena before welcoming Texas Southern at Noon on Dec. 18.
COURTESY UC ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS