Despite a slow start shooting the ball, the Bearcats dominated in the second half and secured a 69-58 win over Cleveland State on Thursday night at Fifth Third Arena. Cincinnati improved to 2-0 behind big man Viktor Lakhin’s second career double-double.
Wes Miller certainly wasn’t happy at halftime since the Bearcats shot just 37.9% with six turnovers. After holding a 30-29 lead at halftime, Cincinnati looked a lot sharper and pulled away for a comfortable win.
In addition to great defense, the Bearcats were able to dominate the glass with 21 second chance points and 17 offensive rebounds. Lakhin was a big part of that with a career-high 14 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks on 6/7 shooting from the field.
Cincinnati Basketball: Viktor Lakhin’s double-double leads Bearcats over Cleveland State
David DeJulius scored a game-high 18 points, while Landers Nolley added 16 points despite shooting 0/5 from 3-point range in the win. Jarrett Hensley racked up seven points and four boards off the bench.
The Bearcats will aim for a 3-0 start to the season on Sunday at noon against Eastern Kentucky. After the win over Cleveland State, Miller discussed the game in a press conference via Cincinnati Athletics.
"“It’s good to win. It wasn’t pretty and give those guys a ton of credit. I thought they came in with great spirt, made it difficult on us and outplayed us in a lot of moments in the game. There’s a lot of things that I’m not pleased with on both sides of the ball but it’s really good to get in some of those moments and just have to figure it out as a group. That’s how you start becoming a team. That was the best part of tonight. We just had to figure it out. When you have six new guys, you’re just going to have to do that at times. It’s good to get into those moments and figure this thing out.”"