NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jarron Cumberland had 27 points and 11 rebounds to set career highs in both categories Friday as Cincinnati recovered after blowing a 10-point lead in the second half to beat pesky Georgia State 68-53 in the NCAA Tournament.
Cincinnati, the No. 2 seed in the South Region, won its eighth game in a row and advanced to a Sunday matchup against either seventh-seeded Nevada or 10th seed Texas.
After trailing 42-32 early in the second half, Georgia State (24-11) rallied to take a pair of one-point leads, its last one coming on a driving bank shot from D’Marcus Simonds with 9:30 left.
Cincinnati (31-4) answered by reeling off 10 straight points.
Gary Clark, the American Athletic Conference player of the year, put Cincinnati back in front by sinking a 3-pointer with 9:02 left. Kyle Washington added two straights baskets before Jacob Evans III provided the exclamation point by sinking a baseline 3-pointer that gave the Bearcats a 56-47 edge with 6:19 remaining.
Cincinnati’s lead didn’t drop below seven the rest of the way.
Washington scored 13 points for Cincinnati, while Clark had 11 points and 13 rebounds Simonds scored 24 for Georgia State.
Georgia State was trying to repeat its 2015 NCAA run, when it produced a first-round upset of Baylor as a No. 14 seed.
Georgia State: The Panthers have a negative rebound margin this season, and their inability to compete on the glass proved costly Friday. Cincinnati outrebounded Georgia State 46-26 and had a 24-7 edge in second-chance points.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats passed a big test by overcoming some adversity Friday. Now they’ll continue trying to end their recent March frustration. Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin has built a perennial NCAA Tournament team, but the Bearcats haven’t reached the regional semifinals since 2012.
Cincinnati plays either No. 7 seed Nevada or No. 10 Texas in a second-round game Sunday.
Georgia State gets ready for the 2018-19 season. The only senior starter departing from this season’s team is forward Jordan Session.
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