National Basketball Association
Cincinnati 82, Memphis 48
When: 4:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 31, 2017
Where: BB&T Arena, Highland Heights, Kentucky
# Doug Sirmons, # Pat Adams, # Raymond Styons
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. -- Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin said earlier in the week that he was "paranoid" about playing Memphis on Sunday afternoon after his team had a 10-day layoff. It did not take long for the 21st-ranked Bearcats to shake off the rust.
Jarron Cumberland scored 15 points and Gary Clark added 13 points and 10 rebounds, lifting No. 21 Cincinnati to its fifth straight victory, 82-48 over Memphis on Sunday at BB&T Arena.
Jacob Evans III and Trevor Moore each scored 12 points for the Bearcats (12-2, 1-0 American), who extended the nation's longest active home winning streak.
Cincinnati played without point guard Cane Broome, who had a sprained ankle. Broome had played in all 13 games and had made three starts.
Evans III moved over to the point in Broome's absence and produced six assists. Justin Jenifer also contributed seven points and four assists.
"I played point guard in high school," Evans III said. "It's just getting used to the reads, little things. I like having the ball in my hands. I feel like we have strength in numbers. That will help us in tournament time."
Memphis (9-5, 0-1 American) was led by Kareem Brewton Jr. who scored 17 points and Mike Parks Jr. who had 10.
Cincinnati held the Tigers to a season-low 32-percent shooting and 4 of 22 from 3-point range. The Bearcats also forced 13 turnovers.
"They (Cincinnati) were taking us out of a lot of stuff with their matchup zone," said Memphis head coach Tubby Smith. "You've got to be patient enough to go to the second, third and fourth options and not just start to dribble and put your head down. Hopefully, our players have learned their lesson and do it the right way and do it the way we said."
Cronin was concerned about his team coming out of the long layoff resulting from scheduling conflicts with Northern Kentucky, where the Bearcats are playing their home games this season. Cincinnati's last game was Dec. 21.
But, UC made that a moot point early in Sunday's game.
"We were excited to play basketball," said Evans III. "When we're playing the right way out there, we have fun."
Memphis was the more sluggish team, however, starting the game 1-for-6 shooting with three turnovers in the first five minutes.
Moore's 3-pointer put Cincinnati ahead 10-2.
"We were passing the ball well the entire game," Cronin said. "We were a little rusty on offense, but Trevor (Moore) took the lid off the basket."
Clark's dunk off a lob from Evans, and Clark's 3-pointer moments later, gave the Bearcats a 23-11 lead.
Cincinnati led 35-16 at halftime, paced by Clark's 12 points and seven rebounds.
Memphis shot 25.9 percent in the first half, including at least three air-balls.
The Tigers were 2-for-12 from 3-point range, 0-for-5 from the free-throw line and committed eight turnovers.
"We were intimidated early on, especially with our turnovers, we played so poorly, shot so poorly and against a good team like Cincinnati, they will make you look bad," said Smith.
Cumberland's 3-pointer capped an 8-0 Bearcats' run to begin the second half, extending their lead to 43-16.
"I thought Jarron Cumberland was efficient, his passing was excellent," Cronin said.
Memphis guard Jeremiah Martin, who came in leading the Tigers at 18.2 points per game, had only two points in the first half and finished with eight points on 4-of-14 shooting. The 48 points by the Tigers were a season-low.
As for Broome, Cronin said he won't rush him back, particularly with plenty of depth at his disposal. Four players scored in double-figures for the Bearcats and nine played 13 minutes or more.
"It's a long year," Cronin said. "With a sprained ankle, you don't know. Until you can cut and move, you're out."
NOTES: Cincinnati has won 34 consecutive home games, the longest streak in the nation. The Bearcats haven't lost at home since Dec. 29, 2015, vs. Temple. ... UC is playing its home games on the campus of Northern Kentucky University while Fifth Third Arena undergoes an $87 million renovation. ... Memphis coach Tubby Smith coached a game in the state of Kentucky for the first time since he was head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats in 2007.
Top Game Performances
Kareem Brewton Jr. 17
Jarron Cumberland 15
Jamal Johnson 2
Jacob Evans 6
Jamal Johnson 6
Gary Clark 10
Kareem Brewton Jr. 5
||Free Throws Made
Gary Clark 2
Jeremiah Martin 2
Gary Clark 2
Kyvon Davenport 1
Kyle Washington 2
Team Stats Summary