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No. 22 Cincinnati picks up road win in Houston


By The Sports Xchange

Kyle Washington nearly recorded his sixth double-double of the season to help No. 22 Cincinnati remain unbeaten in the American Athletic Conference with a 67-58 victory over Houston on Saturday night at Hofheniz Pavilion in Houston.
Washington had 19 points and nine rebounds for Cincinnati. He took over during a pivotal stretch in the second half, scoring 10 consecutive points for the Bearcats to turn a five-point lead into an 11-point advantage.
Troy Caupain had 13 points, six rebounds and five assists for Cincinnati (13-2, 3-0 AAC), which won six in a row and 11 of its last 12. Jacob Evans scored 12 points while Gary Clark posted 11 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
Rob Gray Jr. returned to the lineup for Houston (12-4, 3-1) after missing Wednesday's game against Tulane because of the flu. Gray scored 21 points and leads the AAC in scoring, but made only 9 of 22 field-goal attempts and went 0 of 7 from 3-point range.
Wes VanBeck came off the bench to score 11 points for the Cougars. Damyean Dotson posted his fifth double-double of the season, finishing with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Cincinnati never trailed. The Bearcats went up 11-7 on a layup by Clark, took an 18-9 lead on a 3-pointer by Caupain and pushed the lead to double digits on a jumper by Jarron Cumberland.
Houston battled back to cut the deficit to six with just under five minutes to play in the first half. The Cougars trailed 30-25 at the break after Galen Robinson Jr. converted a late three-point play.
The Cougars got within four early in the second half, but then Washington took control. He outscored the Cougars 10-3 over a span of 1:10, giving Cincinnati a 45-34 lead.
"The Washington kid really hurt us," Houston coach Kelvin Sampson told the Houston Chronicle.
Washington had his biggest game since scoring 24 points in a win over Bowling Green on Dec. 4. He had failed to score in double figures in the three previous games, a slump that weighed on his mind.
"There were a lot of things going through my mind," Washington told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I just want to shout out to Gary Clark, because over Christmas break he sent a really thought-out text to me. He told me to just stick with it, because he was going through a lot of trials and tribulations at the beginning of the year, and I was right there for him. He told me to just stick with it and know who you are."
The Bearcats went up 50-36 on two free throws by Kevin Johnson. Houston made one last charge to get within seven on a 3-pointer by VanBeck with four minutes remaining, but Cincinnati held on.
The Bearcats won despite shooting 38.6 percent from the field and making only 13 of 21 free-throw attempts. They made 10 of 24 from 3-point range, amassed a modest 43-39 rebounding advantage and tallied 15 assists on 22 baskets.
The Cougars shot only 36.5 percent from the field, including 3 of 19 from beyond the arc.
Sampson remarked after the game that his team must develop a consistent third scoring option.
"We've got to get a third scorer, but right now it's a struggle for us to get somebody else that can be consistent that we can count on," Sampson told The Chronicle.
-- Cincinnati improved to 28-2 all time against Houston.
-- Freshman G Jarron Cumberland was named AAC Rookie of the Week after scoring a career-high 19 points against Tulane last weekend.
-- Houston G Rob Gray was named AAC Player of the Week after averaging 22.5 points in road wins over UConn and South Florida.
-- Houston beat Cincinnati last season for the first time since 1973.


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