CINCINNATI (AP) — Jarron Cumberland scored a game-high 22 points, Justin Jenifer added a career-high 18 and the Cincinnati Bearcats opened defense of their American Athletic Conference championship with a no-doubt 93-61 win over the Tulane Green Wave on Wednesday.
Cane Broome, in just his third start of the season, also reached double figures with 17 points and Rashawn Fredericks finished with 9 for Cincinnati (12-2 1-0), which has won three straight games after a 70-59 loss at then-No. 18 Mississippi State.
The Bearcats went 16-2 while capturing the 2017-2018 AAC regular-season championship and went on to win the conference tournament title.
The final margin was Cincinnati’s largest lead of the game.
Besides going 6-for-7 from the field, including 4-for-5 on 3-pointers, the efficient Jenifer turned in a team-high five assists without committing a turnover. The senior guard went into the game with a nation’s-best turnover-to-assist ratio, 8.8-to-1.
Jordan Cornish scored 19 points and Caleb Daniels added 16 to lead Tulane (4-9, 1-0), which is on a three-game losing streak. The Green Wave finished 5-13 in AAC play last season.
Before a crowd of 10,689, Cincinnati took the lead for good at 8-5 on a Cumberland 3-pointer less than 90 seconds into the game. The Bearcats took control with a 15-1 run that left them leading, 32-15, with 10:51 left in the first half. Fredericks capped the surge with a pair of 3-point shots, one from each corner. Broome contributed five points to the run.
Tulane: The Green Wave has lost six straight to the Bearcats since a buzzer-beating 50-49 win at Cincinnati on Feb 14, 2015.
Cincinnati: The win was the 1,800th for the Cincinnati program, which went into the game ranked 14th nationally in all-time victories.
Tulane: The Green Wave is scheduled to play its conference home opener on Saturday against Southern Methodist .
Cincinnati: The Bearcats are scheduled to travel to East Carolina on Saturday for their first conference road game.
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