CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati’s dismantling of Arkansas-Pine Bluff was so complete so quickly that it became like practice for the Bearcats.
Justin Jenifer scored 13 points, Keith Williams added 12 and six Bearcats reached double figures as they set a season high for scoring while flattening Arkansas-Pine Bluff 105-49 on Tuesday night.
Trevon Scott and Cane Broome each scored 11 points for Cincinnati (6-1), which set season highs with a .641 field-goal percentage and .579 3-point percentage while easily extending its winning streak to six games before a crowd of 8,513.
“At some point, we started treating it like practice,” Scott said. “We were saying, ‘Let’s practice doing this’ or “Let’s practice doing that.’ We improved on defense. We felt it was important to work on getting into the passing lanes, getting steals and getting into fast breaks.”
Cincinnati guard Jarron Cumberland, who went into the game averaging a team-high 18.2 points per game, finished with 10 points and a team-high six assists before sitting out the second half to nurse a tender calf, Bearcats coach Mick Cronin said.
Rashawn Fredericks also scored 10 for the Bearcats, who reached triple figures for the first time since scoring 107 against Savannah State and 102 against Western Carolina in the first two games of last season
“Obviously, the score was lopsided, but I was happy with the game,” Cronin said. “You want to see a lot of players improve in a lot of areas, and we saw a lot of that tonight… We stayed focused on playing well and didn’t get caught up in the scoreboard. Our focus was great, considering the situation.”
Cincinnati’s coaches were preaching “focus” in the days leading up to the game, Scott said.
“That was one of the big concerns,” the junior forward said. “They were saying, ‘Don’t come unfocused’ and ‘Stay focused.’ I was trying to make sure we stayed focused.”
Trevor Banks, Terrance Banyard and Cameron Posey each scored eight points to lead UAPB (2-5). Golden Lions’ guard Martaveous McKnight, who went into the week ranked fourth in the country with an average of 28.0 points per game, finished with a season-low seven, going 2-for-11 from the field.
Cincinnati took control with a 10-0 run for a 13-3 lead less than four minutes into the game. Cumberland sparked the run with back-to-back 3-pointers.
“That took a lot of pressure off us,” Williams said. “It made it easy for us.”
The Golden Lions went 10 minutes, 19 seconds between their first and second field goals and they had more turnovers than points until McKnight broke free for a layup on a give-and-go with 8:21 left in the first half, cutting the Bearcats’ lead to 35-12.
Cincinnati improved to 42-3 in November since the start of the 2012-2013 season.
Cumberland, Williams and Scott each scored 10 points to lead the Bearcats to a 59-22 halftime lead – more points than they scored in losing to now-No. 23 Ohio State, 64-56, in the season-opener on November 7. They were Cincinnati’s most first-half points since scoring 60 in last season’s opener against Savannah State.
The Golden Lions committed 19 turnovers by halftime, more than any Cincinnati opponent had committed in a full game this season. They ended up with 31, helping the Bearcats to a 45-11 advantage in points off turnovers.
UAPB: The Golden Lions saw their winning streak snapped at a modest two games.
Cincinnati: After scoring just 56 points in their opener, the Bearcats have reached at least 71 in each of their next six games.
UAPB: At Texas Tech on December 5.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats play on an opponent’s home court for the first time all season at UNLV Saturday.