CINCINNATI (AP) — Freshman Tony Johnson Jr. scored four of his career-high 21 points in the second overtime and Central Florida upset first-place Cincinnati 89-87 in an American Athletic Conference game on Wednesday night.
Johnson converted two free throws before scoring on a layup with a 1:03 left to give Central Florida (14-11, 5-8) an 86-85 lead. Matt Milon added two free throws with 11.7 seconds left to give UCF a 3-point cushion.
Jarron Cumberland’s half court 3-pointer was ruled to have come after the buzzer after a brief video review.
Brandon Mahan scored eight of his season-high 20 points in the first overtime. Mahan got free for three layups before sinking two free throws with 24 seconds left in the first overtime to match his single-game career high and give Central Florida an 80-77 lead, but Jaevon Cumberland connected on a long 3-pointer with 13.7 seconds left to force a second overtime.
Trevon Scott gave Cincinnati (17-9, 10-4) a 70-68 lead on an off-balance layup with 31.3 seconds left in regulation, but Mahan answered with a game-tying layup of his own with 13 seconds left, sending Cincinnati to its fourth consecutive overtime game, tying an NCAA record.
Johnson Jr. scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half. Collin Smith scored 17 points before fouling out in the first minute of overtime. Milon and Darin Green Jr. scored 12 points each for the Knights.
Scott logged his 11th double-double of the season, ninth in conference play, for Cincinnati. Scott set a single-game career high with 21 rebounds while scoring a team-high 22 points. Keith Williams chipped in 17 points and Jaevon Cumberland added 12 for the Bearcats, who went into the game tied with No. 22 Houston for first place.
Scott almost pulled off a first-half double-double, finishing with 14 points and nine rebounds, helping Cincinnati lead by as many as 10 points before Central Florida finished the half with a 5-0 run capped by Mahan’s putback with six seconds left before halftime. Mahan scored 10 points in the first half.
Central Florida: The Knights went into the game 2-12 all-time against the Bearcats, including 0-5 in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati: The overtime was a school- and AAC-record seventh of the season for the Bearcats, who had never played in four straight overtime games.
Central Florida: The Knights play their only home game in a stretch of four on Saturday against Tulane. Central Florida beat the Green Wave 74-55 on January 14 in New Orleans.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats stay home to play Wichita State on Sunday. Cincinnati knocked off the Shockers 80-79 on February 6 in Kansas.
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