Cincinnati Basketball: Bearcats fall to Arizona in the Maui Invitational first round

Landers Nolley II of the Cincinnati Bearcats lays the ball in during game against the Arizona Wildcats during the Maui Invitational. Getty Images.
Landers Nolley II of the Cincinnati Bearcats lays the ball in during game against the Arizona Wildcats during the Maui Invitational. Getty Images. /
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Landers Nolley II scored a career-high 33 points but the Bearcats fell short in a 101-93 loss versus 14th ranked Arizona on Monday night in the first round of the annual Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii.

Wes Miller’s team played well for most of the night but couldn’t protect the paint and get enough stops after allowing Arizona’s frontcourt Oumar Ballo and Azuolas Tubelis totaled 51 points and 21 rebounds.

Even though the Bearcats were competing on both ends, Arizona jumped out to a 40-30 lead at halftime as Tubelis couldn’t be contained in the paint with 14 points and six rebounds at the break.

Cincinnati went on a quick 8-0 run to cut the deficit to single digits but Arizona connected on 12 straight shot attempts to start the second half, highlighted by a pair of smooth fastbreak finishes from Tubelis.

Cincinnati Basketball: Bearcats fall to Arizona in the Maui Invitational first round

Nolley knocked down back to back 3-pointers to cut the deficit to 62-55 but the Wildcats immediately answered with a layup to flip momentum as Tubelis continued to dominate Cincinnati’s interior defense.

Despite coming up short, Nolley couldn’t miss from beyond the arc with a career-high 33-point night in his second trip to the Maui Invitational after playing in the tournament as a freshman at Virginia Tech.

Viktor Lakhin compiled 17 points and five rebounds, while Mika Adams-Woods racked up 11 points and three assists in the loss. Tubelis scored a game-high 30 points and 11 rebounds for the Wildcats.

Following the loss against Arizona, the Bearcats will face in-state opponent Ohio State on Tuesday night at 5:00 PM. Ohio State fell to San Diego State 88-77 in their opening round matchup on Monday.

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