CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati men’s basketball team continues its homestand Wednesday night when it hosts ECU. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m., and fans will be treated to throwback tunes and $9 tickets.
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Cincinnati came up short, 72-59, in its Sunday afternoon clash with No. 2 Houston. The nation’s top defense held Cincinnati to 35.1 percent shooting and was able to up its 35-28 halftime lead into a sizeable margin and hold off the Bearcats’ comeback attempts. Mika Adams-Woods’ season-high 19 points paced UC, and he is now 6-for-10 from deep the last two games. The senior has started a team-high 85 games in his Cincinnati career and is boasting significant offensive improvements over the past year in field-goal percentage (12.7 percent) and three-point shooting (10.5 percent).
Landers Nolley II made all four of his deep attempts against Houston to help power UC early. His 44.2 percent clip (34.5 over his three previous years) from outside ranks second in the AAC. Viktor Lakhin tallied 14 points and three boards in the second half, including 8-for-10 from the foul line, which were career-highs in makes and percentage as he drew 11 fouls overall. His 65.2 percent shooting ranks 11th nationally. Cincinnati also held a 39-33 edge over Houston, which entered fourth in rebound margin, on the glass that included 15 offensive boards. UC was 9-0 prior when winning that battle.
David DeJulius, with 907 points at UC, leads the team with 17.3 ppg at home, where the Bearcats hold average 83.1 ppg and shoot 47.3 percent as well. All 11 of Cincinnati’s wins have come when leading at the half. The Bearcats have also attempted the most threes in the AAC and rank second at 35.5 percent.
Cincinnati leads the all-time series 18-2, including an 11-2 mark in AAC play and six-straight wins. The Bearcats are also 9-0 at home. ECU went 4-0 against Wes Miller, but Miller went 3-0 against the Pirates last year. UC’s 60-59 road win on Jan. 30 was highlighted by DeJulius’ put-back off his own miss with 3.7 seconds left.
Adams-Woods also scored 16 of his career-high 21 points in the first half. The Bearcats allowed a season-low five field goals in the first half as well. In the Jan. 12 meeting, UC exploded for a 20-point halftime lead and withstood a furious ECU rally to win 79-71. Jeremiah Davenport (8-for-16) led with 22 points, while John Newman III added 10 points for his third of four-straight double-figure scoring games. The Bearcats took a 49-29 lead into half time after shooting 17-29 (58.6 percent) in the first 20 minutes of the game.
UC claimed an AAC first-round victory over the Pirates by virtue of a 12-0 run over the final three minutes in a 74-63 victory. DeJulius scored 22 points in a contest that featured 16 lead changes and 14 ties. The Bearcats also notched 10 treys.
COURTESY UC ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS