No. 14 UH defeats Cincinnati, clinches AAC regular season title
No. 14 Houston clinched the American Athletic Conference regular-season title with a 71-53 victory at home over Cincinnati.
UH improved to 25-4 overall while moving to 14-2 in conference play as it secured its third AAC regular-season title in the last four years.
A slow yet even opening minutes of the game quickly turned around as Cincinnati opened the game 3-for-5 from the 3-point line to lead 11-9 at the 14:50 mark of the first half.
The Cougars’ offense centered around graduate forward Fabian White Jr. scored 11 of the team’s first 13 points to start the game.
The Bearcats sat in a scoring drought for 6:25 as the Cougars rode an 8-0 run to lead at 17-12 with 8:49 left in the period.
The Cougars went 7:15 without a field goal heading towards the five-minute mark of the period as the Bearcats chipped away at the deficit and regained the lead at 22-21.
With the clock ticking down in the first half, graduate guard Taze Moore dribbled up the court and hit a 3-point buzzer-beater to extend the UH lead 38-34 at halftime.
White Jr. led the charge in the first half with 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field along with five rebounds.
The second half opened much like the first with both teams finding their rhythm offensively as UH stretched out its lead to 45-38 at the 15:45 mark.
UH’s disruptive defense forced the Bearcats to enter their third scoreless drought of 2:00 or longer before the Cougars obtained their first double-digit lead of the game.
Cincinnati continued to fight its way back into the game, but could not get any offense going as they shot 28.6 from the field in the second half.
The Cougars’ defense proved to be too much for the Bearcats late as UH held on to its double-digit lead for the remainder of the game.
White Jr. recorded a double-double on the night and finished with a new career-high 28 points along with 10 rebounds.
Graduate forward Josh Carlton fell one rebound shy of his own double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds.