The University of Cincinnati men’s basketball team beat the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Runnin' Rebels Saturday evening, 72-65 in overtime. It was the Bearcats first game since returning from the Paradise Jam tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
It was a low-scoring first-half for the Bearcats, who were only able to muster 24 points on 25% (9-of-28) shooting. Senior guard Jarron Cumberland, who is typically the Bearcats go-to scoring option, shot just 1-of-4 over that span. However, the scoring issues didn’t continue into the second-half.
Cumberland finished with a team-high 20 points.
Midway through the second-half, UC came back from a 11-point deficit at halftime to gain the lead for the first time since the beginning of the game, courtesy of back-to-back three-pointers and a put-back dunk by junior guard Keith Williams. He finished second on the team with 14 points, along with junior center Chris Vogt.
Despite leading by 10 points with just over a minute left in the second-half, some shoddy free throw shooting by the Bearcats allowed the Rebels to reduce the lead to a single possession with 24 seconds remaining. An offensive rebound allowed UNLV's Bryce Hamilton to find a wide-open Elijah Long, who drained a three-pointer to tie the game at 60 with one second left.
Overtime found both teams competing at a high-level, with UC able to make separation in the final two minutes. Vogt extended the lead to two possessions with a dunk, and the Bearcats made free throws in the closing moments to secure the win.
The Bearcats improve to a 5-2. They return to action against the University of Vermont Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Fifth Third Arena.