HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (AP) — Sophomore Jarron Cumberland scored 20 points for the second time in his career, and Cincinnati’s full-court pressure forced 22 turnovers Monday night as the 12th-ranked Bearcats pulled away to a 102-51 victory over Western Carolina.
Cincinnati (2-0) won its 28th straight home game — a streak that spans two arenas — with the type of defense that’s been the program’s hallmark. The Bearcats allowed 77 points during an opening win over Savannah State, making defense a point of emphasis.
Western Carolina (0-2) rarely got an uncontested shot and had trouble getting the ball up the court against Cincinnati’s trapping defense, which had 11 steals.
Kyle Washington added 14 points and seven rebounds for Cincinnati, which had four players in double figures. Matt Halvorsen led Western Carolina with 15 points.
The Bearcats are playing this season at BB&T Arena at Northern Kentucky University while their on-campus arena is renovated. They went 18-0 at Fifth Third Arena last season.
Western Carolina: The Catamounts had another rough start. On Friday at Clemson, they managed only 22 points in the first half of an 85-57 loss. Against the Bearcats, they missed 13 of their 16 shots and had eight turnovers while falling behind 30-10. They trailed 46-29 at the break.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats had 20 turnovers during their 107-77 opening win over Savannah State, the main area for improvement. They were better the second time around, turning it over 13 times.
Western Carolina hosts Hiwassee College on Wednesday, the Catamounts’ only home game in November.
Cincinnati hosts Coppin State on Thursday, its third straight home game to open the season before heading for the Cayman Islands Classic.
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