MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Gary Clark had 18 points and nine rebounds, Jacob Evans added 14 points — including a pair of 3-pointers to break Cincinnati out of a second-half shooting slump — as the No. 9 Bearcats defeated Memphis 62-48 on Saturday for their 12th straight victory.
The Bearcats (19-2, 8-0 American Athletic Conference) used a stingy defense to hold Memphis to 31.1 percent shooting for the game, including converting only three of 17 shots from outside the arc.
Jeremiah Martin led the Tigers (13-8, 4-4) with 20 points, while Kareem Brewton Jr. finished with 10 for Memphis.
Memphis, which struggled offensively in the first half and trailed 34-21 at intermission, managed to put a dent in the Bearcats’ advantage in the early stages of the second half. Cincy missed its first five shots, leading to a timeout from Bearcats coach Mick Cronin, when the Tigers crept back to within 34-28.
Eventually, the Bearcats would miss 10 of their first 11, allowing Memphis to creep back in. The Tigers would get as close as 36-32.
At that point, the Bearcats converted four 3-pointers, including two by Evans, part of crafting a 15-2 rally to put the game away.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats have held opponents under 70 points in their last eight games and made shots difficult for Memphis most of the night. During their winning streak, the Bearcats have defeated all but one opponent by double-digits.
Memphis: The Tigers really struggled offensively in the first half. The Tigers couldn’t get anything going early because of a pressing Bearcats defense that caused four quick turnovers. The Bearcats continually took Memphis out of any flow in the first half, leaving the Tigers stuck under 30 percent shooting at the latter stages of the first half. Those shooting woes contributed to a stretch of more than 5 minutes without Memphis scoring as Cincinnati had 12 straight points.
Cincinnati: hosts Houston on Wednesday.
Memphis: at South Florida on Wednesday