Jarron Cumberland scored 25 points, and Cincinnati pulled away in the second half to beat Ole Miss 71-57 and win the championship game of the Emerald Coast Classic in Niceville, Fla., on Saturday night.
Cumberland produced his sixth career game with at least 20 points despite experiencing a rough shooting night. He entered the game shooting 42 percent but wound up finishing 5 of 19 from the floor.
Cumberland compensated for his difficult shooting night by constantly getting to the foul line. He made 13 of 14 free-throw attempts, setting career highs in both categories.
Cumberland’s ability to get to the foul line helped the Bearcats (5-1) win their seventh November tournament since coach Mick Cronin took over in 2006.
The junior guard was the lone player to reach double figures for Cincinnati, which shot 37.7 percent but made 25 of 36 free-throw attempts. Cincinnati’s second-leading scorers were Cane Broome, Keith Williams and Tre Scott, who each scored nine points.
The Bearcats also avenged a 2014 loss to Ole Miss in the championship game of this event by leading for over 36 minutes.
Devontae Shuler scored a career-high 24 points for the Rebels (3-2) but had little help. Breein Tyree added 14 as Ole Miss shot 37.3 percent and did not hit a basket in the last 5:29.
Cumberland scored 18 points and hit all 10 of his free-throw attempts as the Bearcats held a 37-33 lead by halftime. The Bearcats led by 11 with about 4:30 left but settled for a four-point edge when Shuler knocked down a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cap an 11-4 run.
Shuler also helped keep the run going into the second half, and his layup forged a 39-39 deadlock with 15:45 left. Another basket by Shuler forged a 41-41 tie about a minute later, but the Bearcats began pulling away when a 3-pointer by Justin Jenifer started a 25-8 run over the next eight-plus minutes to essentially seal the win.
—Field Level Media