Gary Clark scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds, Jacob Evans added 18 points and No. 19 Cincinnati defeated SMU, 76-56, Sunday at BB&T Arena.
Jarron Cumberland had 14 for the Bearcats (14-2), who won their seventh game in a row, began 3-0 in the American Athletic Conference for the second consecutive season and for the third time in five years as members of this league. This win over the Mustangs was much smoother than the 55-53 escape at Temple Thursday when Evans hit the game-winning jump shot with one second left.
The Bearcats also extended the country’s longest home-court winning streak to 35 games.
Cincinnati hasn’t lost at home since Dec. 29, 2015, in a 77-70 defeat against Temple. Cincinnati has won 19 straight conference home games during this streak.
Cincinnati shook off some bad early shooting to finish 18 of 48.
SMU (12-5, 2-2) struggled against Cincinnati after suffering a 73-70 loss at much-improved Tulane on Thursday.
The Mustangs had won five straight before this two-game skid.
Jarrey Foster led SMU with 16 points while Shake Milton had 14.
Evans converted a hard-earned three-point play with a tough drive to the basket and free throw for a 50-31 Cincinnati advantage with 13:14 remaining.
SMU put together an 8-0 run but Cincinnati responded and still managed to extend its lead to 63-46 with 8:14 left.
Despite some poor shooting, the Bearcats reeled off a 22-3 run to go ahead 27-12 with 6:04 remaining in the first half.
But Cincinnati dominated the boards as it has all season, entering this game ranked sixth in the country in rebounding margin.
Tre Scott drove to the basket and threw down a vicious dunk for a 29-13 Cincinnati advantage and his first two points of the game with 3:50 left until halftime.
Cincinnati went into the locker room with a 34-20 lead though it shot just 9-of-32 and outrebounded SMU, 24-15.
The Mustangs didn’t shoot much better, going 6-of-20 with 11 turnovers and a season-low for points in a half.
--Field Level Media