CINCINNATI (AP) — Troy Caupain missed yet another shot on his off night, and the ball got slapped back to him as he stood unguarded in the middle of the lane. He put up another shot that finally went in for the game-winner.
Caupain got the rebound of his missed shot and made a short jumper with 0.7 seconds left in overtime Thursday night, rallying No. 24 Cincinnati to a 93-91 victory over Marshall after the Bearcats trailed nearly the entire game.
“I tried to spin and just get it up in time,” said Caupain , who missed 11 of his 14 shots overall. “Unfortunately I missed the first one. I was just right there at the right time.”
The Bearcats (10-2) trailed by as many as 15 points in regulation and held the lead only briefly, 75-74 on Tre Scott’s free throw with 2:49 left. A 3-pointer by Jacob Evans III off a Marshall turnover tied it at 80 and sent it to overtime.
Gary Clark led Cincinnati with 26 points and 10 rebounds while Evans had 25 points.
“I’m not happy with anybody,” coach Mick Cronin said. “We had a terrible attitude and were unprepared for the game.”
Stevie Browning scored 28 points for Marshall (7-5) and made a career-high six 3s, leading a perimeter attack that took control at the outset . Marshall made five of its first six shots from beyond the arc — each by a different player — while pulling ahead 19-4.
“It was one after another,” Clark said. “There was a lack of communication defensively. They came out ready. The coaches kept preaching to us how offensively talented these guys were and any slight miscommunication, they found the open guy and it was going up.”
The Thundering Herd made a season-high 14 3-pointers in the first half alone, taking a 50-38 lead to the locker room. Browning had 21 points in the half.
Marshall came up just short in its attempt to beat a ranked team for the first time since its 75-71 win over West Virginia on Jan. 19, 2011.
“It makes you sick to your stomach,” Browning said. “You lose sleep over games like this. It’s like your heart’s getting ripped out.”
Marshall: The Thundering Herd came in averaging 86.2 points per game, ranked 17th nationally. Marshall has scored 70 points in 32 straight games, 11 shy of the school record.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats emphasize defense and rebounding, but repeatedly gave up open 3-pointers that got Marshall going. They hadn’t allowed more than 10 3-pointers in a game this season until Thursday night, when Marshall went 17 of 30.
“I could have made some of those shots in the first half,” Cronin said. “Nobody was guarding anybody.”
Cincinnati’s ragged showing in its only game this week — against a team that hasn’t won a game on the road this season — won’t help its cause and could cost it votes.
Marshall’s Ryan Taylor got a technical foul in the first half. He appeared to kick at Cincinnati’s Kevin Johnson, who was down on the court during a scrum for the ball at the baseline. Taylor argued against the technical, and then shook Johnson’s hand after he got up. Taylor fouled out with 2:49 left in regulation, having scored 14 points.
Marshall concludes nonconference play at Pittsburgh on Dec. 28.
Cincinnati opens American Athletic Conference play at Temple on Dec. 28.
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