CINCINNATI – Jarron Cumberland and Keith Williams led a Cincinnati breakout late in the first half and cold-shooting Xavier was unable to keep up, resulting in the Bearcats’ 62-47 home-court win over the Musketeers in the 86th Crosstown Shootout Saturday afternoon.
Cincinnati used its front-line advantage to score in the paint and shut down Xavier’s inside game. Xavier was doomed when two of its three top scorers, Naji Marshall and Quentin Goodin, shot a combined 2 of 15 from 3-point range.
Xavier was playing the crosstown rivalry for the first time under new coach Travis Steele. He got a technical foul as Cincinnati pulled away in the second half.
Red confetti streamed from the rafters after the final buzzer. It was UC's biggest win yet in their renovated Fifth Third Arena, which reopened for this season.
After seven lead changes in the first 16 minutes, Cumberland hit back-to-back 3s during a 12-0 run that put Cincinnati (9-1) ahead to stay.
UC was trailing 18-14 when Tre Scott and Williams dunked and the Bearcats outscored the Musketeers 14-4 to close the first half with a 28-22 lead.
Once the second half started, the Musketeers (6-4) fell behind by 10 at 34-24, then a Paul Scruggs 3-pointer closed the gap to six at 37-31. But Williams dunked twice more to make it 41-31 and the Bearcats pulled away to their biggest lead, 19 points, at 60-41.
Cumberland had a game-high 19 points, hitting 3-of 6 three-pointers and 7 of 15 overall, while Williams had 16 points on three dunks and 7 of 14 shooting. UC shot 40.7 percent from the field (27.8 behind the arc).
By contrast, Xavier hit only 5 of 25 three-point attempts (20 percent) and shot 35.3 percent overall. Marshall was 1 of 8 from beyond the arc, 2 of 13 overall, and finished with eight points. Goodin was 1 of 7 behind the arc and 5 of 12 overall for 12 points. Scruggs chipped in 11 points on 4 of 8, 1 of 2 field goal shooting.
UC avenged an 89-76 loss to Xavier last year at the Cintas Center. Xavier has won four of the last six in the series, seven of the last 11 and 13 of the last 20, but UC leads the all-time series 51-35.
Xavier: Goodin was back after missing a win over Ohio on Wednesday because of illness. Xavier’s top returning player also has missed significant practice time with a shoulder injury.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats emphasize defense first, and their front line dictated the game by preventing Xavier from getting the ball inside. Fifteen of the Musketeers’ 25 shots came from beyond the arc in their lowest-scoring first half of the season. They made only three of them.
Xavier hosts Eastern Kentucky next Saturday.
Cincinnati plays at No. 22 Mississippi State next Saturday.
WCPO will update this story.
SEE Game Stats at ESPN.com.