Cincinnati rallies past Wright State
by Bill Koch, USA TODAY Sports
CINCINNATI – JaQuon Parker matched his season high with 21 points – 16 in the second half – and Cincinnati Bearcats rallied from an 8-point deficit to defeat Wright State, 68-58, Saturday before 9,248 fans at Fifth Third Arena.
The 11th-ranked Bearcats (12-0) overcame another poor offensive first half, scoring only 22 points for the second game in a row, and became the eighth team in school history to start a season with 12 consecutive wins. UC outscored Wright State, 46-30, in the second half, held the Raiders to 32.2 percent shooting for the game, and blocked 10 shots. Titus Rubles scored 11 points with nine rebounds for UC.
The victory was the 125th for Mick Cronin as Cincinnati’s head coach, tying him with Tay Baker for fourth place among all UC coaches. He is 125-88 as the Bearcats’ head coach.
The Raiders (8-4) saw a three-game winning streak come to an end.
Leading by six at halftime, Wright State scored the first two points of the second half to take a 30-22 lead, its largest of the game. Parker then scored 10 straight points for Cincinnati to put the Bearcats ahead, 32-30, their first lead since the 7:12 mark of the first half.
With Parker leading the way, the Bearcats outscored the Raiders, 23-6, in the first seven-plus minutes of the second half to take a 45-34 lead with 12:52 remaining on a one-handed slam dunk follow shot by Titus Rubles. Parker scored 15 of those points for UC.
Wright State, which has never beaten Cincinnati in nine tries, didn’t get closer than seven points the rest of the way. The Raiders were led by Jerran Young, who scored 14 points.
The Bearcats shot just 24.3 percent from the field in the first half and made only 2 of 11 shots from 3-point range. Wright State wasn’t much better, shooting 25.8 percent but made eight of 12 from the free throw line compared with two of six for Cincinnati.
The Raiders did a good job of taking care of the ball against Cincinnati’s pressure defense, committing only four turnovers in the first half. They didn’t commit … [For more on No. 11 Cincinnati rallies past Wright State to stay unbeaten, click here.]