In one of the more wild games in college basketball this season, the University of Cincinnati men's basketball was defeated by the University of Central Florida, 89-87, in double overtime Wednesday evening at Fifth Third Arena.
Down by two with one second left in the second overtime, UC senior guard Jarron Cumberland caught an inbounds pass and took one dribble to his left. He heaved a half-court shot that found the bottom of the net, but officials deemed the ball was still in his hands when the final horn went off.
Cumberland finished with 19 points, nine assists and seven turnovers.
UC (17-9, 10-4 American Athletic Conference) played its fourth consecutive overtime game, which tied a NCAA record. It was also the seventh overtime game of the season, as the Bearcats played in three extra periods in November.
With UCF in a 2-3 zone defense to start the game, UC took advantage and jumped out to a 8-2 lead - prompting UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins to call an early timeout.
The Bearcats struggled to adjust to the Knights' man-to-man defense and weren't able to put together a run throughout the rest of the first-half. UC went into the break with a 37-32 lead after giving up a 5-0 UCF run over the final minute.
UC head coach John Brannen was also less than pleased with his team turning the ball over 21 times.
"Tonight felt like a team that was not connected defensively," he said. "It felt like a team trying to do a little but too much on their own offensively, which caused for [the turnovers]. Give Central Florida credit for a lot of that. At the same time, I'd be telling you it was a disappointing effort if we came in and won tonight. "
UC redshirt senior forward Trevon Scott continued to showcase why he was named the AAC's Player of the Week Monday, as he led everyone with 22 points and a career-high 21 rebounds.
"[Scott's] energy was great," Brannen said. "I wish I could have put his energy in everybody else."
It was the first 20 point-20 rebound game by a UC player since Kenyon Martin on Feb. 21, 1998.
Jarron Cumberland's cousin, Jaevin, connected on two 3-pointers in the first overtime to extend the game. The grad transfer guard finished with 12 points on 4 of 9 shooting.
UC junior center Chris Vogt added seven points and six rebounds before fouling out in overtime.
Vogt and Brannen agreed that the numerous overtime games have taken a toll on the team, but that it should not be an excuse.
"It's definitely stressful and probably stressful on our bodies too," Vogt said. "Guys are getting worn down. That's just something that we need to take care of and be locked in for 40 minutes to try to win in regulation instead of playing to the level of our competition and keep on playing close games."
"Let's not put ourselves in position," Brannen said. "Let's do a good enough job in regulation not to have that happen. It's draining, but it's basketball. It's not digging ditches."
Looking forward to the final weeks on the regular-season, Vogt said one of the focal points will be putting together a more balanced attack.
"We've had games where we've had great offensive numbers and games where we have great defensive numbers, but we never really put them both together in the same game," he said. "Moving forward, that's been a focus of ours. Tonight, we obviously didn't do that."
The Bearcats stay at Fifth Third Arena for a matchup with Wichita State Sunday afternoon. Tip-off is 1 p.m.