Tulane drops conference opener at Cincinnati, 93-61

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CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Tulane men’s basketball team surrendered nine first-half 3-pointers, as Cincinnati cruised to a 93-61 home win on the first night of American Athletic Conference play at Fifth Third Arena.

Jordan Cornish led Tulane (4-9, 0-1 AAC) with 19 points and six assists, as Caleb Daniels tallied 16 points and six rebounds.

Jarron Cumberland paced Cincinnati (12-2, 1-0 AAC) with a game-high 22 points and seven rebounds, while Justin Jenifer chipped in 18 and Cane Broome added 17 more.

The Green Wave trailed by just three after Barrett’s second 3-pointer of the night made it 17-14 just over five minutes into the action, but the Bearcats erupted with a 15-1 scoring run to build their first double-digit lead of the night.

Cincinnati stretched its lead to 20 points for the first time on its eighth trey of the first half off the hand of Jenifer to make it 43-23 with 5:07 left.

The Bearcats eventually took a 52-28 advantage into halftime after shooting over 54 percent from the field and 60 percent beyond the arc, while the Wave made just over 30 percent overall in the period.

Tulane scored the first six points of the second half which included a well-timed alley-oop from Cornish to Daniels just a minute into the period, but Cincinnati was able to push its lead back to 26 with the score 66-40 and over 15 minutes remaining in the game.

The Bearcats’ margin climbed to over 30 on back-to-back scores in the paint with seven minutes to go and kept the advantage in that range for much of the remainder of the night before finishing off the 32-point win.

Cincinnati shot 32-for-67 (.478) overall and 10-for-21 (.476) from outside the arc while making 19 of 23 (.826) free throws. Tulane finished the night 21-for-57 (.368) from the floor, 9-for-22 (.409) beyond the 3-point line and 10-for-14 (.714) at the charity stripe.

The Bearcats outscored the Green Wave, 34-20, in the paint, 18-8 off turnovers, 19-5 off fast breaks and 15-5 on second chances. Cincinnati was also plus-six on the glass for the evening.

Tulane returns home for a quick turnaround to host SMU on Friday, January 4. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m., at Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse, and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.

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