Bearcats Men’s Basketball Heads to Tulane for Pivotal AAC Tuesday Matchup


CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati men’s basketball team is set for a significant trip to New Orleans, taking on second-place Tulane at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday night. The fifth-place Bearcats are one game behind the Green Wave in the standings, which is 8-2 since the last meeting on Dec. 29.

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Cincinnati throttled UCF with 24 forced turnovers, and after UCF turned a 16-point deficit into a tied game with two minutes left, the Bearcats finished on a 13-4 run to win, 73-64. DeJulius’ top-of-the-key trey to up the lead to 68-62 with 50 seconds left allowed him to become UC’s 55th member of its 1,000-point club, as well as the 35th to reach in three years or less. DeJulius, whose 6.64 assists per game and 2.92 assist/turnover ratio in AAC play paces the league, is also second nationally with nine-straight games of five-plus assists (ESPN Stats & Info).

Viktor Lakhin also scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half, while Landers Nolley II’s career-high five steals were the most of the Bearcats’ 16 (team’s most since Nov. 2015). Lakhin is averaging 16.8 ppg over his last four after 6.7 the previous three, which includes a career-high 22 against Memphis, while ranking 16th nationally at 62.1 percent from the field. Nolley, whose 14-straight double-figure scoring games are the most by a Bearcat this year, ranks 10th nationally with a 44.4 percent deep clip. Cincinnati is the only team with top-25 representation among three-point and overall shooters.

An unheralded x-factor has been Ody Oguama, as Cincinnati is 8-0 when he earns six-plus rebounds (six of those in AAC play). UC is also 16-2 when leading at the half and 13-1 when allowing under 70 points. The Bearcats have also won three of their last four road games, with the only loss coming at No. 2 Houston, which included an 11-point, second-half lead. UC is 17th in assist-turnover ratio (1.46) and 23rd in turnovers per game (10.8).

Cincinnati has won 19 of its last 22 against the Green Wave.

The Bearcats claimed the first meeting in what was also the AAC opener for each team on Dec. 29, 88-77. Cincinnati began the game red hot, shooting 59% in the first half and leading by as many as 17 before the break. However, Tulane fought back, cutting the deficit to 10 at halftime and all the way down to 3 in the second half. Buckets by DeJulius and Nolley opened it back to a 9-point lead with 3:45 left. Mika Adams-Woods had 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting as one of five double-figure scorers. Nolley had 23 and Lakhin posted a 13-13 double-double.

The only 2021-22 meeting the most bizarre game of the season, as Cincinnati trailed by as much as 26 late in the first half before pulling within 11 at 13:48. Tulane was 9-of-14 from deep (64 percent) in the first half and then 5-for-26 overall in the second (19 percent). The Bearcats trailed by as much as 26 late in the first half before pulling within 11 at 13:48 and seven with a minute left. Jeremiah Davenport recorded his second-career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Cincinnati is 9-3 against the Green Wave since the start of their AAC series and 30-16 overall. The schools were previously charter members of Conference USA (last meeting in March 2005 before Cincinnati joined the BIG EAST) and Metro Conference.