Houston continued to dominate the Bearcats with a 72-59 win on Sunday evening to stay atop the AAC standings with a 4-0 record and move to #1 in the latest Associated Press Top 25.
Kelvin Sampson’s team showed why it’s a legitimate national championship contender at Cincinnati with great decision making, multiple scoring threats and physical defense.
It’s still early in the conference slate but the Cougars appear to be on track for a second straight AAC championship, while Cincinnati currently sits in sixth place with a 2-2 record.
Both teams will return to action on Wednesday night as the Bearcats take on East Carolina with a chance to bounce back at Fifth Third Arena, while top ranked Houston hosts South Florida.
Cincinnati Basketball: Houston Cougars become top ranked team after win over Bearcats
Even though Houston led 35-28 at halftime, Cincinnati was still within striking distance before going scoreless for more than six minutes as the deficit grew to as much as 20 points.
Wes Miller’s team came out with plenty of energy but couldn’t sustain that level of play into the second half as the Cougars eventually took control and extended its 7-game win streak.
Houston star freshman Jarace Walker led the way with a game-high 21 points, five rebounds and three steals in front of several NBA scouts including the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks.
The Bearcats will travel to Houston later this month with another opportunity to grab a marquee victory. Tip off is scheduled for 2:15 PM on Saturday, January 28 at the Fertitta Center.
Cincinnati Basketball: Bearcats struggle to keep pace in 72-59 loss against first place Houston
After getting off to a quick start, the Bearcats couldn’t keep up with first place Houston in a 72-59 loss at Fifth Third Arena on Sunday, falling to 11-6 overall and 2-2 in conference play.
Houston was able to create easy looks by getting out in transition, finishing with 26 points off turnovers and 22 fastbreak points as Cincinnati committed an alarming 17 turnovers.
There’s no shame in losing to one of the nation’s best teams but it was another disappointing result as the Bearcats struggled to limit fastbreak points and protect the paint.
Despite falling short, senior guard Mika Adams-Woods continued his hot streak with a team-high 19 points and three assists. Viktor Lakhin added 16 points and six rebounds in the loss.