CINCINNATI (AP) — The 19th-ranked Bearcats appreciated an easy game at the right time.
Freshman Jarron Cumberland scored 18 of his career-high 26 points in the second half and the Bearcats rolled to their 12th straight victory on Sunday, 94-53 over South Florida.
The Bearcats (19-2, 8-0 American Athletic Conference) used their bench often against the conference’s last-place team, with the reserves contributing 60 points. Cincinnati extended its longest winning streak since it took 15 in a row in 2013-14.
Cincinnati was coming off an emotional 86-78 win over No. 24 Xavier in a crosstown rivalry game Thursday night on the Bearcats’ home court. They’ve won 21 straight home games, their third-longest streak since the arena opened in 1989.
“It took us a while to get in the game, get our emotions going,” forward Kyle Washington said. “We had guys that were a little fatigued. Once we got the juices flowing, you saw we were in sync. We got rolling.”
Cumberland scored 18 of Cincinnati’s 20 points over one stretch in the second half, hitting four 3s during the spurt. He had 15 points in the win over Xavier.
“I’ve got to knock down those shots,” Cumberland said. “It’s just about building confidence.”
Washington had 11 of his 13 points in the first half as Cincinnati opened a 49-25 lead.
CINCINNATI – University of Cincinnati freshman guard Jarron Cumberland (Wilmington, Ohio/Wilmington HS) has been named the American Athletic Conference Player of the Week the league announced Monday.
Cumberland averaged a team-high 20.5 points, shooting 65.0 percent (13 of 20) from the field and 57.1 percent (8 of 14) from three-point range in 20.5 minutes off the bench in two wins last week for Cincinnati.
Cumberland scored a career-high 26 points on 8-of-11 shooting with six three-pointers in the Bearcats’ 94-53 home win over USF on Sunday. It marked the most three-pointers in a game by a UC player this season and tied for the most points by a Bearcat in 2016-17.
Cumberland also keyed Cincinnati’s comeback home win over No. 24/22 Xavier on Thursday, sparking the Bearcats’ rally with 13 of his 15 points in the second half.
The freshman guard is averaging 9.8 points, shooting 52.8 percent (38 of 72) from the floor and 50.0 percent (22 of 44) from beyond the arc in 18.7 minutes during Cincinnati’s current 12-game win streak.
For the season, Cumberland is averaging 7.5 points and shooting 48.1 percent (50-104) from the field while averaging 16.5 minutes as a reserve.
He twice previously has been named The American’s Rookie of the Week (Dec. 19 and Jan. 2) this season.
CLIMBING IN THE POLLS
Cincinnati moved up in both national polls released today, climbing to No. 14 in both the Associated Press and USA Today polls. It marks the Bearcats’ highest ranking this season in both listings.
UC has been listed in both polls 10 weeks this season, including each of the last nine.
The Bearcats have been listed in the AP poll in 42 seasons in their history, including at some point in six of the last seven campaigns, climbing as high as No. 7 during the 2013-14 season. UC was ranked for 13 weeks in both the AP and USA polls during the 2012-13 season – a Mick Cronin coaching-era high.
No. 14/14 Cincinnati (19-2, 8-0 American) plays its next contest at Tulsa (12-8, 6-2 American) on Wednesday. The game will tip at 9 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network and 700 WLW.
Cincinnati opened the week with its highest ranking of the season and is positioned to move up with a pair of wins. The Bearcats have been ranked for eight consecutive weeks.
South Florida: The Bulls have lost eight games by double digits during their skid, three of them by more than 20 points.
Cincinnati: Coach Mick Cronin was able to go to his bench early and rest his starters. Point guard Troy Caupain played a season-low 16 minutes and had two points.
The 41-point win was Cincinnati’s biggest in four seasons of American Athletic Conference play, topping a 31-point win over the Bulls last season.
The shot clock above the basket in front of the Bulls’ bench wasn’t working, but the game tipped off anyway. The public address announcer would say when 10 seconds and five seconds remained for a team to shoot. The shot clock was working for the start of the second half, and then went out again.
Cincinnati freshman center Nysier Brooks hyperextended his right knee with 4:36 and had to be helped off the court. Brooks averages eight minutes and 2.8 points per game. He was walking without assistance after the game.
More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org
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