It’s not often that Gary Clark leads No. 13 Cincinnati in scoring, but he did Monday to send his team to the semifinals of the Cayman Islands Classic, where the Bearcats will play Richmond on Tuesday. Clark had 24 points, one shy of matching his career high, and recorded his 20th career double-double with 14 rebounds as the Bearcats beat Buffalo 73-67 to earn a date against the Spiders.
Clark has been consistent as they come throughout his four seasons with the Bearcats, particularly in the rebounding department, where he’s averaged 7.2 boards or better every season. The 6-8 senior forward, who won his 99th game in a Bearcats uniform, has 32 contests with double-digit rebounds. “I‘m a huge lead by example guy, whether its diving on the floor or just dominating the whole possession,” Clark, who notched his fourth career 20-point game, told the media. “Showing the younger guys that it takes years of putting in the work.” Grant Golden put up 26 points as the Spiders earned their first victory of the season 63-50 over UAB in the opening round.
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ABOUT RICHMOND (1-2): Golden scored a total of 19 points in his first two games, including 13 last week against Jacksonville State. The redshirt freshman entered the game with UAB as the Spiders’ fourth-leading scorer and left it as their top scorer at 15 points per game. De‘Monte Buckingham isn’t far behind at 14.3 points per contest while Jacob Gilyard and Nick Sherod gives coach Chris Mooney four players who average double figures.
ABOUT CINCINNATI (4-0): Jarron Cumberland had 14 points and six rebounds, the first time in his career he has scored double figures in four straight games, but also turned the ball over seven times against Buffalo. The sophomore, who averaged 8.3 points as a freshman, was coming off his best game with 19 points and nine rebounds in a victory over Coppin State. Kyle Washington also hit for double figures Monday, and he and Clark combined to make 17-of-19 from the foul line.
1. The Bearcats, who won 30 games last season, are 99-27 in Clark’s four seasons.
2. The winner takes on Wyoming or Louisiana in Wednesday’s championship game with the losers playing in the consolation.
3. Cincinnati won all four meetings with Richmond with the last coming in 2001.
PREDICTION: Cincinnati 71, Richmond 64