Senior guard Mika Adams-Woods led the Bearcats with a season-high 19 points
CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati men’s basketball team fell to No. 2-ranked Houston, 72-59, on Sunday at Fifth Third Arena.
Senior guard Mika Adams-Woods turned in a season-best 19 points on 8-of-11 from the field, while redshirt sophomore post Viktor Lakhin tallied 16 points, propelled by 8-10 from the line, against the nation’s top-ranked scoring and field-goal percentage defense.
Houston possessed a commanding 26-4 advantage in points off turnovers, forcing UC into 16 miscues during the contest.
The Cougars, who improved 16-1 overall and 4-0 in the American, held a seven-point advantage at halftime and opened the second half on an 11-2 run. Senior guard Landers Nolley II also reached double figures, scoring 12 points, all in the first half, as Cincinnati dropped to 11-6 overall and 2-2 in the AAC.
Nolley and Adams-Woods combined to score 24 of UC’s 28 first-half points. The duo shot 9-of-13 from the field and made all six of 3-point attempts.
Their hot shooting kept Cincinnati close despite the Bearcats shooting 32 percent overall as a team before the break.
Cincinnati jumped out to a 5-0 lead behind a 3-pointer by Nolley II and a layup from Adams-Woods.
Houston missed its first five shot attempts before going a on a 10-0 run, sparked by back-to-back 3-pointers, to take a 10-5 lead on consecutive layups by J’Wan Roberts.
Nolley’s third triple came after a fake pass sent a Houston defender flying past him and his fourth behind-the-arc swish tied the game 18-18 at the 8:40 mark in the first half.
After a 3-pointer by Adams-Woods made the score 22-21, Houston used an 11-2 run to take a 33-23 lead after a trey from Tramon Mark.
Adams-Woods had a contested layup and hit one from behind the arc in the closing minutes of the first half and Lakhin had a tip-in to cut the Bearcats’ deficit to 7, 35-28 at the break.
Houston scored the first seven points out of half-time, punctuated by a Jamal Shead 3 and a dunk from Walker to make the score 42-28.
The Cougars extended its lead to 48-30 on another jumper by Shead and a dunk by Ja’Vier Francis as Cincinnati missed its first five field goal attempts of the second half.
Walker had a reverse dunk after a turnover by the Bearcats to put Houston ahead by 20, 54-34, with just under 10 minutes remaining the game.
Cincinnati cut the deficit to 10 later in the game after it made five straight field goals.
Adams-Woods’ layup in traffic cut the deficit to 13, 56-43, with seven minutes left, and his 3 seconds later made it 58-46. After forcing Houston into a shot-clock violation, DeJulius found Lakhin for a layup to make the score 58-48 with 5:37 left.
A corner three by Mark and a steal-and-dunk combination from Marcus Sasser put Houston back in front by 13 with just under four minutes left.
- Nolley recorded his 13th double-figure scoring game of the season and 72nd of his career.
- Adams-Woods tallied his 11th double-figure scoring game of the season and 41st of his career.
- Lakhin recorded his 13th consecutive double-figure scoring game and made a career-high eight throws.
COURTESY UC ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS