Cincinnati is still undefeated this season when holding teams to 42% shooting or worse.
CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Bearcats (15-8, 6-4) walloped another poor opponent 81-55 on Wednesday in the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (5-16, 1-9).
The Bearcats held Tulsa to 21% shooting in the first half and never looked back in the dominant win. Jeremiah Davenport (20 points, 4 rebounds) led the way with an efficient shooting night. All the while, Landers Nolley II (13 points, career-high 13 rebounds) complimented him with elite defense and a monster night on the glass.
Cincinnati ends its AAC tenure 12-3 against Tulsa in conference play.
Here's the Three Man Weave as UC moved to 12-0 this season when holding teams to 42% shooting or worse.
Backcourt Locks Down
Cincinnati's man-to-man defense was like a boa constrictor on Wednesday night. They posted the sixth-best opposing field goal mark in a game this season (34.6%) and rotated on a string consistently throughout the night.
The guards worked very well into that equation, led by Nolley. At one point in the second half, he had a -5.1 defensive rating, meaning UC allowed -5.1 points per 100 possessions when he was on the floor.
It felt that dominant too. Nolley posted 2 steals (tied a season-high), as UC moved to 4-1 this season when he swipes multiple possessions. He also led all players with 12 defensive stops.
Mika Adams-Woods (10 points, 5 assists) is still on a bit of a down-shooting stretch, but it surely didn't hamper his defensive effort. He was fantastic on Sam Griffin (15 points, 2 rebounds) and Anthony Pritchard (12 points, 2 assists) throughout the night.
Cincinnati played great defense before losing the past two games, and this kind of intensity is imperative toward a surprise AAC Tournament run.
Still, Tulsa is 227th nationally in offensive efficiency. Do it against UCF (77th off. eff.) this weekend, and it'll get easier and easier to believe in.
One mark of a great player is their ability to slink into new roles seamlessly. David DeJulius (11 points, 9 assists) is doing that as the team's top distributor this season and it was on full display Wednesday night.
The veteran went from go-to scorer in 2021-22 to go-to creator this season. He ranks fifth in the AAC with 4.5 assists per game and has upped that to 6.3 assists in the conference slate. That featured a 12-assist outing against East Carolina.
DeJulius and Adams-Woods (3.2 assists per game) have switched back and forth as main ballhandlers during their respective rotations. That cemented game plan is helping UC find a lot of open looks in conference play, even if they don't always go down.
Posting 22 assists on 31 made baskets is a perfect recipe for offensive success.
If DeJulius can keep up this assist rate, while finding a little more shooting consistency against conference opponents, then UC can find a new ceiling down the stretch.
Same Old Griffin
The Golden Hurricane leading scorer looked like he has all season: inefficient.
Griffin (5-of-15 FGs) got to his spots at times against UC, but it was few and far between on a night where Tulsa's offensive shortcomings were glaring.
They had no offensive rhythm and relied entirely on top of the key actions to initiate a mid-range heavy attack. Cincinnati's guards were welcoming the switch, which meant bad news for Tulsa's penetration.
Tulsa's tough shots were bounty for Nolley (10 defensive boards) and Viktor Lakhin (10 points, 8 rebounds). All in all, the Golden Hurricane had just 5 assists. The ball rarely whipped around the court and Bryant Selebangue (8 points, 15 rebounds) got a little lost in the shuffle as a result.
He had a scoring flurry during the middle of the second half, but other than that, Tulsa's most efficient scorer was largely clamped. The 6-foot-9 force was anything but on Wednesday night.
Cincinnati has a much tougher test against UCF this Saturday at noon on ESPNU. The game is available via fuboTV— start your free trial here .
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