February 11, 2023
CINCINNATI – Senior wing Jeremiah Davenport made three triples in a three-minute span early in the second half to break the game open and lead the Cincinnati men’s basketball team to an 84-65 victory over USF on Saturday at Fifth Third Arena.
Davenport finished with 18 points, making 4-of-9 3-point attempts, as the Bearcats improved to 17-9 overall and 8-5 in the American Athletic Conference.
USF dropped to 10-15 overall and 3-9 in the AAC despite 25 points from Corey Walker Jr.
The Bearcats shot a blistering 66% after halftime, outscoring the Bulls 50-27 after the break to run away with the victory.
Senior forward Ody Oguama added a career-best 18 points on perfect 9-of-9 shooting from the field, picking up much of the slack in post with the absence of starting center Viktor Lakhin, who was out with an injury.
Senior wing Landers Nolly II finished with 13 points and 10 boards, while sixth-year guard David DeJulius scored 10 points and dished nine assists.
After Bulls’ point guard Tyler Harris buried a triple at the half-time buzzer to cap an 8-0 USF run and give the visitors a 38-34 halftime lead, the Bearcats responded out of the break with three quick baskets from Oguama to tie the game 40-40.
Then, Davenport got hot, hitting three 3-pointers in a three-minute span. His first 3, gave UC its first lead of the second half at 16:20. His third trey put Cincinnati up 52-43 at 13:20.
A trey-ball from freshman win Daniel Skillings Jr. put Cincinnati up 10, and a layup by DeJulius pushed the lad to 12, 61-49, with 9:24 remaining.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Skillings and senior guard Mika Adams-Woods put Cincinnati in front, 69-54, with 7:17 left.
Davenport’s fourth trey gave UC a 72-56 lead at the six-minute mark and effectively put the game away.
Both teams went back and forth in a first half that featured eight lead changes and eight ties.
Oguama’s monster jam gave the Bearcats’ an 8-7 lead six minutes into the game.
The teams traded leads until the four-minute mark when Adams-Woods knocked down a triple from the corner and DeJulius converted a fastbreak layup after a steal by Davenport to give Cincinnati a 30-25 advantage – before USF went on a run to take a short-lived halftime lead.
FROM WES MILLER
“The second half was what you want to see, we got our hands on balls, our defense was active, defense leads to offense. Jeremiah (Davenport) I thought played some of his best offensive basketball and defensive basketball there in the second half and that gave us a huge lift. We’re asking so much of Dave (DeJulius) and Ody (Oguama) and Chez (Landers Nolley) from a minute standpoint right now. And I thought they were all terrific even though it wasn’t Landers’ night shooting the ball. So, the second half was something I’m proud of. There were some things in the first half that were very frustrating. I’m sure they were frustrating to watch. But again, I liked how we came out and responded second half.”
–Ody Oguama’s career-high 18 points came on the heels of doing the same with 16 at Tulane.
-Oguama’s 9-for-9 showing was the second-such instance in the AAC this season. He and Tari Eason (versus Tulane in 2021) are the only Bearcats to be perfect on eight-plus attempts since the 2010-11 season.
-Landers Nolley’s double-double was his sixth of the year, as well as the team’s 14th.
–David DeJulius had five-plus assists for the nation’s leading 11th-straight game, and he had nine assists for the third time in the last five games (averaging 8.4 over that span).-Jeremiah Davenport now has 988 points at Cincinnati as he looks to become the 56th member of the 1,000-point club. His 18 points gives him 10 in double-figures this year.
–Jarrett Hensley saw his first action since Jan. 1 at Temple.
–Kalu Ezikpe earned his first Cincinnati start. He had 55 over four years at Old Dominion, including 53 over his final two.
-Ezikpe’s season-high eight rebounds included five in the first nine minutes.
-Cincinnati earned its first win (out of 17 overall) when trailing at the half.
Cincinnati visits East Carolina for a 7 p.m. matchup on Wednesday night on ESPN+.
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