UC basketball has had a slow start to the 2019-20 season. Despite an ugly loss to Colgate Saturday, Cincinnati rebounded with a win over Tennessee Wednesday night. The Bearcats (7-4, 85th*) were able to rely on Tre Scott’s 15 points to help snap a two-game losing streak. A 9-0 run was able to put UC up by 10 with less than four minutes remaining. UT (7-3, 27th*) was led by John Fulkerson and his 14 points. Cincinnati will play Iowa (8-3, 21st*) in Chicago as part of the Legends Classic on Saturday. TV: BTN Radio: 700 WLW Line: Iowa by 6 (Sports 24/7)
Xavier lost to Texas in overtime Sunday, 78-76. XU (19-16, 10-10, 93rd) was on the road for the NIT sweet sixteen matchup. Tyrique Jones scored 22 points on 10-12 shooting and had 11 rebounds for Xavier. The Muskies’ Naji Marshall scored 19 points (7-17), and Zach Hankins added 13 (6-8). Texas’ (18-16, 8-11, 74th) Kerwin Roach II scored 21 points, and (6-13) and Jase Febres had 17 (6-10). Xavier finishes the 2018-19 season in 4th place (tie) in the Big East regular Season, semifinalists in the Big East Tournament, and NIT 2nd round participants. This was Travis Steele’s first season as head coach. Next season Xavier will begin play in the Charleston Classic, which features teams that include Florida, Miami, UConn, and Buffalo.
Zach Hankins scored 13 points, but was unable to score on the final play of the game (Nick Wagner/American Statesman).
Cincinnati continued AAC domination by winning at home vs. Memphis 71-69 Saturday night. The game itself was certainly a nail-biter but a key defensive play (Logan Johnson) prevented Memphis (18-12, 10-7, 67th) from a game-winning shot. The Bearcats (25-4, 14-2, 13th) were led by star guard Jarron Cumberland’s 26 points. Memphis was led by all-American favorite Jeremiah Martin and his 28 points. The Bearcats as of Monday (3/4) are tied with Houston atop the AAC standings, with the Cougars (27-2, 14-2, 4th) holding the tiebreaker (head-to-head). Cincinnati will play the Cougars on senior day Sunday. Before that game, UC will be on the road at UCF (22-6, 12-4, 21st) who just defeated Houston on the road. The game in Orlando will tip-off Thursday at 7 PM. TV: ESPN2 Radio: 700 WLW
Nassir Brooks (33) throws down a dunk against Memphis (Enquirer/USA Today)
Cincinnati played another close game, and yet snatched another victory, 52-49 at SMU. The Bearcats (24-4, 13-2, 14th) were led again by Jarron Cumberland and his 12 points. Jahmal McMurray accounted for more than half of SMU’s (13-14, 5-10, 149th) points, with a game-high 27 points. The score reflected the low shooting percentages of both teams. The Bearcats shot 27% from the field, while the Mustangs shot 35%. However, UC was 14-15 from the free throw line while SMU was only 2-3. Rashawn Fredericks’ two late layups ensured a Cincy victory. The Cats’ will host Memphis (18-11, 10-6, 63rd) Saturday at 8 PM. TV: ESPNU Radio: 700 WLW
Justin Jenifer scored six points for UC (The Enquirer).
At long last, Xavier was able to secure a victory, 64-61 OT over Creighton Wednesday night. The overtime victory snaps a six-game losing streak for Xavier (12-13, 4-8, 133rd). The Musketeers were led by Naji Marshall’s 23 points. Tyrique Jones (12) and Zach Hankins (10) also reached double digits. Martin Krampelj led the Blue Jays (12-12, 4-8, 102nd) with 18 points. The season for Xavier has been very disappointing, but is it salvageable? At this point, X is hoping for an overall winning record. That is no guarantee in the Big East conference. The only guaranteed postseason for the Muskies’ is the conference tournament in New York City. Any hopes of playing after that, will depend on how Xavier fares in Madison Square Garden. XU will play Providence (14-11, 4-8, 98th) Saturday at 2 PM in Rhode Island. TV: FOX Radio: 700 WLW
Naji Marshall’s 23 points and clutch play helped X win (The Enquirer)
Cincinnati lost a marquee AAC matchup Sunday at Houston 65-58. The Bearcats (20-4, 8-2, 20th) led 58-57 with six minutes remaining. They would not be able to score a single point. Cold shooting and tough defense stifled the Bearcats. Jarron Cumberland’s 27 points were not enough for Cincy. Houston (23-1, 9-1, 2nd) had contributions from many players. Corey Davis Jr, Galen Robinson Jr, and DeJon Jarreau all were double digit scorers. While a disappointing loss, it was the toughest game on the schedule for UC. Also, the Cats’ will play the Cougars one more time, at home. Cincinnati will play Wichita State (12-11, 5-6, 106th) at home Sunday. Time: 1 PM TV: ESPN Radio: 700 WLW
Jarron Cumberland’s (34) efforts were not enough in the loss (AP/Wyke).
The Xavier Musketeers lost their sixth game in a row, Saturday night 74-62 vs. DePaul. The Musketeers (11-13, 3-8, 144th) competed for much of the game, only to go cold in last five minutes allowing the Blue Demons (13-9, 5-6, 121st) to go on a 16-0 run. Xavier was led by Naji Marshall, who scored 23 points. Paul Scruggs had 13 points and Quentin Goodin had 12. DePaul’s Max Strus scored 17. XU will still try to snap their losing streak Wednesday vs. Creighton (12-11, 4-7, 85th). Time: 8:30 p.m. TV: CBSSN Radio: 700 WLW
Naji Marshall led all scorers with 23 points (Victores/USA Today)
Xavier lost another tough road game Sunday, this time at Creighton 76-54. The Musketeers (11-12, 3-7, 130th) struggled in the first half, trailing 41-26 at break. It didn’t get much better in the second half. The Blue Jays (12-9, 4-5, 63rd) cruised to a 22 point victory, led by Martin Kempelj’s 23 points. Marcus Zegarowski added 13 points for Creighton. Quentin Goodin had 13 points with seven assists, and Tyrique Jones scored 10 for XU. Xavier has lost five straight games and is in last place in the Big East. The Muskies’ will play DePaul (12-9, 4-6, 138th) Saturday at the Cintas Center. Time: 8 PM TV: FS1 Radio: 700 WLW
Quentin Goodin (0) scored 13 points in the loss to Creighton (Brandscombe/USA Today Sports)
Cincinnati survived a tremendous effort by SMU Saturday night, winning 73-68 at Fifth Third Arena. Jarron Cumberland scored 24 points and Keith Williams had 13 for the Bearcats (19-3, 7-1, 17th). Jahmal McMurray scored 21 points for the Mustangs (12-9, 4-4, 144th). The Bearcats are tied with Houston atop the AAC standings. Cincinnati is knocking on the door of the mainstream polls, and is expected to be in the top 25 of the AP poll this week. The Cats’ will take on Memphis (13-9, 4-4, 83rd) on the road Thursday night. TV: ESPN/ESPN2 Radio: 700 WLW.
Trevor Moore (5) was excited about the victory (UC Athletics).
Xavier continues to stumble this season, falling to Georgetown on the road, Thursday night, 80-73. The Musketeers (11-11, 3-6, 121st) have skidded, now losing four games in a road. Georgetown (14-7, 4-4, 70th) was led by James Akinjo who scored 23 points, 10 of those coming in a late rally. Xavier’s Naji Marshall had 16 points and Paul Scruggs had 15. Quentin Goodin scored 14 off the bench. The Muskies’ simply are trying to stay at .500 or above. A first-year head coach, newer players, and an extremely difficult schedule (21st of 350) are wreaking havoc. Xavier plays Creighton (11-9, 3-5, 68th) Sunday at 1 PM. TV: Fox Sports Ohio Radio: 700 WLW.
Paul Scruggs had 15 points in the loss in Washington D.C. (Brad Mills/USA Today Sports)