February 1, 2018 / 2:42 AM / 2 months ago

No. 8 Cincinnati rides big second half past Houston

EditorsNote: fixes “hurt” in next-to-last graf

Kyle Washington scored 19 points while Jacob Evans III added 18 as No. 8 Cincinnati rallied from an 18-point, first-half deficit and extended its winning streak to 13 with an 80-70 victory over Houston in an American Athletic Conference game Wednesday night in Highland Heights, Kentucky.

The Bearcats held the third-longest winning streak in the country starting this week. Cincinnati (20-2, 9-0 AAC) has won 38 consecutive games at home, the longest streak in the nation.

This year, Cincinnati is playing its home games in northern Kentucky while the Bearcats’ home arena is being renovated.

In addition to the work of Washington and Evans, Jarron Cumberland scored 15 points while Gary Clark added a double-double, 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Clark was named the AAC Player of the Week for a second straight week Monday, the third time he has won the honor this season.

Houston (16-5, 6-3) took a 33-15 lead in the first half, but Cincinnati reduced the margin to three by halftime and gained control in the final 20 minutes.

Cincinnati has played strong defense throughout the season, but it gave up 40 points in the first 17 minutes before clamping down to spur the rally.

This was the first time in nine games Cincinnati allowed over 60 points, the last being in an 81-62 win over Cleveland State on Dec. 21.

Houston had won four of its past five games and started quickly in this one, racing out to that 33-15 lead with just over seven minutes left in the first half.

However, Cincinnati scored the final 11 points of the first half to climb within 40-37 at the break.

The Bearcats tied the game at 40 on a Justin Jenifer 3-pointer 25 seconds into the second half, and the game started to turn then.

Houston also hurt its cause with poor free-throw shooting. The Cougars made only 4 of 11 from the line, while the Bearcats were 18 of 27.

Corey Davis Jr. led Houston with 18 points. Devin Davis added 15 points and nine rebounds.

—Field Level Media

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